Volume 27, Number 3


I should be thankful
to not be one of my kind
simmering in the statistics,
a religious identification
inserted name first on a resume
into a human resources shredder.

On the bottom left placement
of a wage scale,
the compression stiffens,
salicylic acid
diminishing the blemishes,
callused shavings of skin.

I serve as a narrative function,
the fourth tine on a fork,
a boarding ramp
without a platform,
the active vessel in route
to some sense of somebodiness.

In the office supply room,
under the gears of an ink jet printer
pulling white sheet paper,
I breathe in my greeting of peace
to a similar worker, like a mutt
leashed with a nylon muzzle.

—Tamer Mostafa