by Janee J. Baugher
Brittany has cut up her poem
and arranges the slips for the right order.
Julia snaps her gum snap,
cradles a thesaurus, types words into her laptop.
Amelia, with headphones on,
writes something longhand.
Tyler stares at his computer,
leans back in his chair
far enough for me to be nervous,
scratches under his chin and resumes typing.
Yana munches Chex crackers
and makes notes on a piece of paper.
Victoria listens to music, looks at her screen,
then transcribes something in longhand.
And Erin, shut inside her head
has no papers about, except for Brittany’s slips
which have encroached over to Erin’s side,
as she taps the mouse pad on her Mac.
They move their fingers,
crinkle their minds,
give themselves over
to the blood-black task of revising.
They must love this work,
the words, the long hours
and bruised forearms
up to their lovely white throats.