us, a pair of matching uniforms
behind a counter.
a sign reads “Guest Services,”
but really means
an expected performance. we raise
our larynx to give the sound of
a customer talks to you like they know you.
but you are bolder. we keep our messes
hidden and wash our slacks on our days off.
i wanted to be bold.
i wanted to hug you
until we both felt better.
but when i touched your shoulder
you shuddered; still
rigid in service.
now how could a tear exist much less a hug. instead,
i relieved you
assumed the position
as we spoke of Sophie’s death like it didn’t happen that morning.
like nothing ever happens.
to each other
and i was so glad to see you leave.
Things i do to hurt
Ian is a queer poet based in Arizona. He is the author of a little chapbook called “SERVICE” published by Panchanga Press. He writes about labor and melodrama and you can follow him on twitter @haugen_dasz if you’re into that sort of stuff.