in memory of Reetika Vazirani (1962-2003) and Rachel Wetzsteon (1967-2009) Sewanee, Tennessee. Summer of '96, I went there for booze and poetry and rest. I danced a little dance; I talked a little shop. I forgot a recent ghost. "Invitation to a Ghost" was my favorite poem in Tennessee
Out of the fog comes a little white bus.
It ferries us south to the technical mouth
of the bay. This is biopharma, Double Helix Way.
In the gleaming canteen, mugs have been
dutifully stacked for our dismantling,
a form of punishment.
Executives take the same elevator as I.
This one's chatty, that one's gravely engrossed
in his cloud. Proximity measures shame.
I manage in an office, but an office
that faces a hallway, not the bay. One day
I hope to see the bay that way. It all began
in the open, a cubicle—there's movement.
My door is always open, even when I shut it.
I sit seven boxes below the CEO
on the org chart. It's an art, the value-add,
the compound noun. Calendar is a verb.
To your point, the kindest prepositional phrase.
Leafy trees grow a short walk from Building 5.
Take a walk. It might be nice to lie and watch the smoky
marrow rise and fall, and rise. Don't shut your eyes.