By Michael Casey

Featured Art: Bathers 1890/94 by Paul Cézanne

with a singular total probity
he fantasizes about women in our building
the actual social interaction is nil
or rather minimal and centers around coffee lines
the young coffee lady
at the corner stand he calls Casmira
her real name is Dishwava
but he doesn’t like that name
Diswaba the deck he says
and the large-hair customer at the IHS stand
he calls Ingrid
and the willowy customer on the HR floor
he names Karen
you can imagine his surprise when
he found out Karen’s real name is Karen
subconsciously now he thinks
there’s a mind connection
the world yet a more beautiful place
there are single women in our office
attractive and even affable
why don’t you pay some attention to them
I ask he says he read somewhere
how an in-office relationship
is bad very bad
if one is looking for happiness

Michael Casey’s latest book is Check Points from Adastra Press. His book, Obscenities, was the 1972 Yale Younger Poet selection.

Originally appeared in NOR 14.

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