job interview

it’s like going to sleep with meat under your nails
and dreaming that no one can save you
you’ve filled out all the applications
you’ve stood in line
and all you’re getting is instant light microwave popcorn
simulated action
the house of plastics
you thought you had all the answers
the tickets the map
but now your car’s stalled in the middle of the bridge
and you’ve forgotten which side is home

it’s like trying to see in the dark
wearing your sunglasses
it’s like protecting yourself with an unloaded gun
and the hits just keep on coming
rapid fire into the shadeless afternoon
while you’ve lost your lounge chair
your good book
your desire to stretch
it’s like calling your own empty house
and letting it ring
it’s like parking your dreams under a dead tree
it’s like forgetting your name
on judgment day

wendy shaffer


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