The third line on my brow—
It arrived last night.
The crosshatches around the mouth—
They speak for me.
My hair surrenders to wind.
My fuck-you finger is romancing my thumb.
The slouch, the crippled penmanship,
My earlobes of Buddha,
The smile that reveals a Stonehenge
Of uncivilized eating.
Thus, I seek work
In a very tall building.
“I see you were once a colonel,”
Says the suit behind the desk.
“Corporal,” I answer.
“That’s a misspelling.”
I breathe in, breathe out—
Look, a sharpener on the wall.
“I see that you raised chinchillas…”
The suit looks up.
“What the heck—your shirt!”
The tip of my felt-tip
Is bleeding from the pocket
Of my white dress shirt.
I tell him. “It’ll stop in a second.”
I view the red stain,
As a sort of Rorschach test—
Is that a poorly rendered valentine?
I’m shown the door.
The elevator is a hush going down.
When I sigh, the valentine inflates.
I’m unemployable, I’m of no use.
I shudder from the cold and look back:
At the revolving door,
More people going out than coming in.