My first job was data entry, with all those awful numbers. The next ones were flush with time and words were incalculable, floating out of copiers and stenographers. I hand-wrote them then
in-between walking memos to real, plastic inboxes. Microsoft changed everything with their windows in which I could type out my poems. After all, writing poems looks awfully similar to working. And instead of office supplies, I began to steal time.
I snuck words in through open windows, met them in small storage rooms, had conferences with them at lunch. I sat in ergonomic chairs while they reclined on the yellow, lined paper.
Sometimes I had to cajole them. Sometimes they were team players. Sometimes they were only wanting to gossip. Sometimes they came out of the mouths of people standing unawares in front of my desk. Sometimes they didn’t show up to work, but I couldn’t fire them.
They liked to be fussed over, rearranged. They wanted to be knit and spaced. All they wanted was my attention. And they must have known I would never give them up for all the money. Because at the end of the day, when they took their leave, it always sounded good.