Call Center

Erric Emerson is a poet residing in the westerlands of Philadelphia. He is a founding member of Duende literary journal. His work has appeared in Beautiful Losers, Crabfat, Five:2:oneNeon, Gingerbread House, The Black Napkin, Mead, and By&By, among other places.

Call Center

What remains is
filament in the fluorescent tubes
hung over cubicles: bland glow-
the cubicles, beige walls,
monitored calls from telephone, numbers
on monitor, the corded receiver,
outbound, outbound, dials, dialing,
smile into handset, handed in paperwork,
files into shredder-box picked up on Tuesdays.

I glance at you sometimes less than I
used to; the way the workplace is playground
for supervisor’s subordinate. How long
to talk at the copier before suspicious.
Enter the floor separately as a rule.

That trip we took to Atlantic City last fall;
Borgata stills mails me free play on weekends.

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