where romance meets commitment

i have a tendency to treat my jobs like lovers

in the beginning i am so mad about them

so committed i leave favored books

on the coffee table and call

just to see how everything is going

i miss them when i am away

and make sure that they have all my emergency

numbers just in case i’m needed

i take joy in providing the extras

dusting off my great aunt’s coveted

tea cake recipe and leaving the lemon

flavored treats lying about carefully

placed for their enjoyment

i laugh at all the corny jokes

and purport interest in all things

they deem interesting

i am attentive and patient

i walk them through my quirks and

hold back revealing true flaws

but as with any lover eventually

they get dressed in the full light

of the morning sun and its

then that i see the sexy wrinkle

is actually a scar and the laugh

that caught me off guard on that

second glass of chardonnay is

a nervous hiccup made to cover up

a lie they never meant to tell

they wear me out

and checking in seems mundane

so i stick strictly to paper trail protocol

till eventually i don’t call at all

corners get cut because details

go unnoticed no one cares

that the powder sugar is arranged

to resemble a star so i stop

adding powder sugar to my

homemade treats and then i

just stop providing the extras altogether

like any lover worth their salt

i’m taken for granted so resigned are

they that i am theirs

policies crafted become institutionalized

ways of work and i am immortalized

in my own image

i throw off their advances but

allow them to flirt with forever

who knows perhaps the spark

will rekindle if only this meeting

were better organized

the quirks stop being cute and

i become bored nodding in the right

places at the stories heard ten dozen times

its no matter that the allegories have now

changed meaning at least for me

they see me nod but notice not the dull

ache in my expression as my eyelids droop

i want to return to the us we were in the interview

talk to me again about how we will change

the world or education or social service or

the written policy agenda or employment

tell me how much you love the people

listen to my ideas and help me believe

in yours i beg in silence as the conundrum of

my descent into ordinary becomes evident

change is not possible when everyone is

so worried about their own tomorrows

like lovers we move through the stages and

our romance wanes as we politely leave the

bated breath dalliance of an overnighter and

become the aged couple sharing toothpaste

and arguing over who forgot to set the

coffee maker

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