jueves, julio 16, 2009

Lustrando mis zapatos

shining my shoes

(written on Saturday, February 12, 2005, around daybreak)

There’ll be a plastic chimera
joining Don Quixote with Wile E. Coyote
on the dashboard of my five-hundred dollar car
when I drive to Pittsburgh next week.
It will guard my pretense and good humor
through the hijinks of interviewing for jobs
wanting heroics from me.

The trip’s on a budget:
twenty dollars for gas to get there,
twenty dollars to get around while I’m there,
and twenty dollars to get back to Cleveland.
Then there’s the free room-and-board with cousin Tony
and nothing for lunches out or parking in garages.
Should the unexpected happen and I run over budget,
I’ll rely on the Don and Wile E for
steadfastness in suffering humiliation.

Wearing my worn, pin-striped, navy-blue suit,
newly dusted and pressed for meeting interviewers,
will help me remember the confidence I once had
in my handshake and way of speaking
and hide my shabby underwear.
Hopefully, they’ll see what they want in me,
without having to unbutton my shirt to reveal
a silky blue-sky jumpsuit with a muscular red S on it.
Either way, there’ll be no scuffs
in the shine of my shoes or my face,
no matter the trouble they’ve seen.

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