Corporate Macaroni Code

What is acceptable: black slacks,
especially when paired with a fuck-me voice
and a meek smile.

Avoid thrusting your elbows outward,
talking with your hands.

(This is only
for your own good. We wouldn’t want you
to look anything but professional.

We wouldn’t want you
to be mistaken for a woman shopping freely,
schlucking her boots against the linoleum,
sniffing blouse pits or rubbing discount dresses
between stubby fingers.)

On days when the weather
is especially conducive to Capri pants,

we want you to give us your shiniest apples,
your macaroni necklaces, the last rasp of your voice,
even if it’s higher or purpler than you feel.
Even if you go home             to peanut butter.

—Emilie Lindemann, Manitowoc, WI