895 Readings | 4 Ratings

They’ll Be Contacting Me

One of the managers asked me
what I would do after I died,
and then they stared at me, two hard-boiled eggs

in little collared green shirts and soft
mouths that sucked the air
like goldfish on ceramic tile.

I imagined cutting them both in half
just to see the yellow-gray
moons of their yolk.

The second manager was three sizes too large
and fired his phlegm-hums
at point blank range. I told them

I would rot or burn, maybe leak out
a pungent aroma, maybe grin, like this,
but the egg on the right cut me short.

“No,” he said, “would you remain loyal
to our company?” And it was the way he said loyal
that annoyed me,

it took on shape, rising in the center.
It made him sound
important even though

he was only the left half of a sweaty omelet.
“I’d be dead," I said quickly, “which is
a bit like loyal,” and they both nodded quietly

and looked at each other,
as though this was the one answer
they had been expecting.

We sat there for a run of the mill eternity
and sniffed each other’s dread.
Then they both shot their damp

hands out at me and each cocked up
one eyebrow.
“Thank you,” said the first.
Posted 01/31/10
First published with slight variation on Mississippi Review Online.
Comments (1)
05/16/10 9:54pm