[In the Financial Services Company Headquarters]

Dragged from the chandelier
graveyard and kept polished
in the lobby. All the sales reps
shuffle through,
taking out their ledgers.
Acronym after acronym
the world contracts,
mimeographs get passed
around, then someone starts the
numbers. A shorthand:
manila-colored skirts and
cold knees.
Thin khakis rising briefly
at the ankles.
We finish our reports
and answer our phones,
tucked behind particle board
dividers. We unwrap our
sandwiches. While
twenty miles east of here
the blue-muzzled doe skirts
the fairgrounds to nose
orange peels and hubcaps,
skittering off on clothespin legs
at the sound of a truck short-
cutting home. No windows so
we compromise. So we hang
calendars with thumbtacks.
Wild Hoofbeats: America’s
Wild Horses or Western
. We make modern
American field notes to after
hours and field notes to the
white noise machine:
turn it up.
Turn it up so loud the fake silence
avalanches the mountain of
copier paper, avalanches
the emergency faxes
over the supply room
desk, herding memos
to the terrible carpet
that hides the concrete
hallways that connect
all the break rooms to all the rest
rooms to all the conference
rooms that are named
after native woodland creatures.