contracts.


We stood single file in front of a small window

waiting.

for an emotionless Indian receptionist

with a colored turban and a mustache

she looks down not staring us in the eye because

she doesn’t want to judge us. She hands us the packet

the contract telling us that there is no turning back, we cannot find a neon sign

and run. The fire exit is locked and the only way down is the elevator shaft

but that will make a scene, and we aren’t going to make a scene.

 

we shuffle our feet slowly

against the mucus colored carpet and we think

what would be like if we actually went along with it?

13 to 30 we stand like a unenthusiastic conga line

waiting.

Not waiting for anything important like a movie ticket

or an amusement park ride feeling like clouds are in my throat

This is not like that.

My stomach acid is churning like butter with the little

water I was only allowed to drink and it tastes like skin.

 

I look at the clipboard, the piles of papers

asking me for my social security number,telephone number,

my insurance provider, and my name

and I don’t know

because this isn’t me.

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