copy clerk

the table waits, eight or so in a broken line,
take this, but watch the edges, a paper cut away,

a room of white & grey, too much grey,
follow work-flow, workplace understanding,

it’s a mess of this & that, but the name,
dress to suit, don’t look up, camera eye,

security & the old man who pushes mail through
a machine, find food, but here we go,

paper upon paper, file & forget,
the experts of prep, with a gap in diversity,

a serial reinforcement across the floor,
remove sticky notes & staples,

don’t read too much, but information is
important, & here we are,

smile & look away, bald head & glasses,
wandering eyes watch the copier copy,

then again, perforated edges, cough &
smoke exhales, over the next few days,

the room will grow, smaller, to miss
the open space, the moments within,

arms against, now again, a return,
accents in voices, the nasal sound

of time & broken vowels, listen,
but here, this short ceiling, these cubes,

a room slipped inside as an after-thought,
the stamper stamps, they know their way around,

the upbeat onset of a job accepted, what cost,
paper, a question extended, think

within contained parameters, feed
the scanner, sort & lift the tray,

read into lines
& broken ideologies

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second floor

the apartment fills with heavy air, the fan
holds still, inside the walls dust converses
over moisture, duct work & the utility of housing,
there, inside the cupboard a cat remembers how
to get it, but there is safety in a ladle, this little spec,
this fluff of old & warn our carpets breaths within,
something of a rabbit & last nights drink, phone calls
& a table cluttered with yesterdays newspapers,
but there is the deck, half rotten and too wet,
no sense in the cob webs, but strange bugs call it home,
for a while, then again, birds, pavement parking lots
& old socks observe the shadows, in snores people
call, but here, once more, look, maybe the sound
of passing a cough at night

326

when blue leads to white, trees grow a darker green, it’s obvious, there is an antenna just outside the window, & not a wind blows, but let’s call the neighbors and wait for rain, what of clear skies & the small amount of dirt under your nails, i could tell you about the breathing habits of worms, however, when the roof caves in, i’ll know you are right, with a side of left, the time happens to be dependent & it’s no time at all, the little box of goodies is gone & a shrub just walk away, call this what you will, or don’t, i read in a book once that trees are made from paper and when a tree reads it eats itself, what’s the difference, the pickets aren’t here to listen, the brick is no longer red, but there is a funny shade of brown that listens when i call it, i don’t want to alarm you, the ice-cube tray said something about you yesterday, i didn’t really listen, felt marker & a painted gate, clouds stand still, still enough to be seen, so, & like i said