FOUR POEMS by B. DIEHL

TODAY IS THE WORST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

 

I’m an office clerk now ––
trying not to think in pessimist clichés.
Trying not to think I’m a robot.
Trying not to think of the movie Office Space.
Trying not to image that my cubicle
is a jail cell and that my stapler
and highlighter
and computer-with-forbidden-Internet
are my cellmates.

There is an air conditioner in the corner.
“Air conditioning is a luxury,” we’re told.

And maybe that’s true.

No more panting in a warehouse.
No more almost-strokes or swamp crotch.
No more clumps of powder falling down my pant leg.
No more leaving powder footprints
as I sneak away for a quick affair with the water fountain.

Every morning, documents are delivered to my desk
by a guy named Tim with a wart on his forehead.

Tim got yelled at last week for taking a 50-minute shit
on company time. Now he walks
with a slow shuffle and never says hi to anyone.

“Tim should cheer up,” people say.
“Yeah,” I say, and point to the air conditioner.

One of my tasks is to skim the documents on my desk
for insurance-policy numbers
and policy-holder names. I type
this information into Microsoft Excel, then toss
the documents into a “TO-BE SCRAPPED” bin.

I’m making it a point not to daydream
about tossing myself into that bin.

I’m also making it a point not to call Child Services
on my pregnant supervisor. (She is currently rambling
on the other side of the room. She says
she has recently binge-watched all 5 Twilight movies
and is now considering naming her baby Renesmee.
She is completely serious about this….)

I walk to the men’s room
to check Facebook on my phone. Continue reading