It happens at my desk: a gathering in. As if the room were a forehead graying at the temples. Lip-balm, then gloss. I push back in my chair, kicking my long feet like a swimmer. Flutter-kick, one two. Still in my pencil skirt & blouse & Minnetonkas. Even the light gathers in & hovers just behind my eyes. I don’t have to read & anyway the words are marching neatly off my screen. Back to their nest in the wall or under the Coke machine where they can curl around each other until called. There’s an answer to one question. But I have to wait for the sweetish feeling inside me to swell to the size of a flapjack. It comes to me that my job is to get hold of that same feeling inside another lifer. I mean the real sugar of it, is my new job which comes to me all roasted & packed like a warm thought. So I scrape my hair into a mess of woody stems & then I rummage through my lunch bag for strength. Fancy bread crammed with cold pink shrimp, ketchup packet filched from the break room. I chew & stare from my window over the roofs of other buildings. Chicago doesn’t stop; her trains are rainbow anklets in the cold. I love my job & this window where the light draws in from each side. Sometimes I see men in dark polo shirts on those other roofs, pressing pistols to the bellies of passing choppers. Something happens but it doesn’t keep happening. Chicago with her hair blowing in the world. 

Kiki Petrosino