Job #6

by Rosa Alcalá

Rosa Alcala

How to transcribe tragedy?
(A secretary, a good secretary, asks.)
Do I use a dictation machine?
Look blankly at the boss
and let fingers for a moment feel
reproach? How can I plan my wedding
as I cross out crutch words? When will I depill
my jacket? When everyone is dead
will the droopy bow of compliance
get caught in the teeth
of inquiry? There is no line of escape,
holidays are finite systems, the rest
a blur of supermarket cake
into rising
rent. The body charged
with documentation has its own shorthand:
now the turncoat gland, now the gut’s
tactlessness. What’s the worry?
The transcript never gets read
for what it is: a stutter relieved
of spare consonants,
the art of rote aversion.

Last updated December 08, 2022