In the urgent moment
three steps from the men’s room,
the women’s room door opens
and a familiar face emerges.

I am caught in that no-mans-land
of not knowing whether
to make eye contact and say hullo
or look away
as if this chance encounter
is legislated against by some social norm.

It is not like toilet paper
drapes from her blue jeans
or her fly is unzipped
or any hairy flesh shows.

It is not like in my need to go
that I have unzipped my fly in the hallway
or am farting prodigiously
or was sneaking a peak into the woman’s room.

The awkwardness passes
as soon as we move by each other
with two steps taken,
but both of us display a face
that expresses
we got caught at something
unnatural and uncomfortable.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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