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Scott Poole

Work

A lamp burns in the hot breeze.
Eight people walk in on a tour
carrying paper. They stop at my desk.
I notice the sweat stain on the leaderís shirt.
He moves his arm around
describing my features.
I could be having a heart attack,
so slow
I might never die.

Someone throws an octopus on my face.
I feel the cold disk of a stethoscope
where nothing grows.
"Itís still moving," the man says.
The group begins singing,
Haydn. I can sense
the octopus likes it.
Then someone is going down on me.
I let them,
I donít want to fail.
Iím not sure whether Iím dealing
with a man or a woman.

But soon my inspector withdraws.
The octopus is removed
and the tour moves on
to the next desk.
"How did you do?" my coworkers ask.
"I couldnít tell you."

That summer night, outside the building
five thousand people are playing sports.
An executive in a baseball coachís uniform
is rummaging through bushes.
"What are you looking for?" I say.
"Oh, there you are," he says,
and pulls my heart right out of my chest.

"Thanks," he says, and waves the heart
at children in the distant field.
He throws it hard into the blue.
I squint, but as usual
I canít see where itís going.

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