Thursday Poem

Corporate Identity

this saturday you’re behind the counter

in the work coat you want to shed

like an unwanted skin at the end of your shift.

there’s the 5 o’clock rush to get through

& you don’t want to hear how Michael on bags

got an extra shift at subway to save for his car.

Your white name tag lets the customers think

they can call you by your name;

the logo on your chest promises a New World

but little was gained from the shelvers’ lockout.

What’s left after the prepaid’s paid for

you’ll put to a silver Playboy necklace

with an imitation diamond eye, or

a pair of Nike trainers, each whoosh

a tick for a Vietnamese child’s

fourteen hour day. last week tala

gave you resurrection & you copied

tupac shakur’s name into your senior

social studies notebook in the style

of a typeface owned by the sony Corporation.

You hand back the man’s Flybuy card, try

not to frown as he fumes when the EFTPOS

doesn’t take his PIN. on your inside

left thigh there’s a tattoo of the Vietnamese

character for love you let no–one but tala

see. You got the idea from angelina Jolie—

now it has become your own & beneath black

polyester pants the sigil warms you;

keeps you real.

by Harvey Molloy

Albatross, Spring 2009; Anabiosis Press