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Job Interview

Why do you feel qualified? Mr. Blue Blazer asked.

And I looked out the skyscraper window.

Far below, a man struggled with a shopping cart,

One wheel stuck, his cargo of tin and glass jingling.

 

Sir, answer us, Mr. Suede-patches-at-the-elbow asked.

I stood up and peeked further down,

Pigeons flattened in the gutter,

Their feathers fossils for my own flight.

 

It says here you’re an artist, Ms. Perfume inquired.

I gazed at my belt, lynch for the last day of the month.

I considered my fingernails,

Claws that hugged a tree for the love of its roots,

And swallowed my spit, a poor-man’s breakfast.

 

The chairs squeaked,

The fish in the lighted salt tank circled,

A fish that I had been eyeing

Since I stepped into office.

I’m qualified because…I started.

 

Mr. Patches leaned forward, head like a chunk of cheese.

Ms. Perfume jangled her bracelets.

Mr. Blazer swabbed his front teeth with a sour tongue.

 

…because I could eat that fist in that tank there

With a butter sauce, I finished.

 

Out on the street with my portfolio of wrong answers,

I turned in a circle and thought, What next?

Hurrying away, nearly running from the gravity

Of a San Francisco hill,

I was every dark penny that rolled away,

But still hoperful of running into the glittery crowd

Of nickels and dimes.

                                                                  Gary Sotto

 

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