by John Grey


Time clock, my lover,
coaxes me out of figures
into slender steel arms,
always an hour up there behind that face
to draw me nearer to the bliss of five o’clock,
to sweep me out of the legendary insistence
of balance sheets, of pie charts,
of memos from head office.
All day long I have spoken
to its~ cherubim: office chit-chat,
bubbling water coolers, the private phone-call, the bathroom sanctuary,
but now it tempts me with the real thing,
freedom deeper than a kiss,
and, no longer ashamed of our relationship,
this unwilling conscript drops his weapon,
that gregarious mouse, zaps his P.C.
watches the monthly report on stationery charges
pop like a thought balloon,
a perfect green likeness of my absence
filling the terminal in its place.
I elope with the roller-coaster ride
of my own laughter
in tray and out tray abandoned
like unlovely twins at a dance,
my cubicle’s cheap walls
shaking in the blessed fury of my rail-wind.
Down the corridor, past the guard-station,
until there, at the rim of the parking lot,
my body empties itself of
everything business mandates I should know,
gives birth to sunset beaming red and gold from
the midsize American car,
the gilt of love my pay-check sends me.