of all possible possibilities

Frank abstains from work
Like a recovering alcoholic from whiskey.
He sleeps ‘til noon with frayed curtains drawn shut.
He answers the front door in blue boxers,
A large hole torn at the hip, exposing pale skin.
Rent is late.
Says the landlord.
Unopened bills cut at his naked feet as he saunters
Back to bed.

Dan drinks work in draughts
Like a relapsed alcoholic with whiskey.
He toils at the office ‘til midnight with bamboo blinds pulled open.
He sleeps slumped over a mahogany desk accented with lucent brass.
A blue tie pulled from his neck, exposing pale skin.
You’re late.
Says the wife.
In unheard phone messages held loosely in his manicured hands.
The alarm set for 5am.

Frank refuses to apply at any job that requires a resume.
Or a background check.
Or especially a piss test.
He eats tepid chicken soup in musty church basements
Sitting next to broken men with cavernous eyes
Talking with weary souls who fought in wars and shed blood and whose blood was shed
On the other side of the world.

Dan applies to new companies every week.
Companies that pay more.
Especially companies that pay overtime and proffer a company Cadillac.
He eats aged sirloin steak with peppered courvoisier cream sauce
Working next to opened folders and a weary laptop with cavernous keys
Formulating the next cutthroat business battle to shed blood for blood shed
On the top floor of some indistinct ominous skyscraper . . .

as gods_wm


Frank tells the reverend that he is free
And that he isn’t burdened by a mortgage,
Or by a draconian boss who drives a company Cadillac,
Or by a corporate infrastructure that treats workers
as expendable functions rather than valued individuals.
Frank stuffs his jacket pockets with stale crescent rolls,
And with a burning cigarette bouncing between his lips, he smiles
And tells the reverend that his life is the best
of all possible possibilities.

Dan tells his ex-wife that he is free
And that he isn’t burdened by poverty or need,
Or by vapid relationships to bolster the lonely and the weak,
Or by societal norms that value modesty and humility
as exhausted virtues that corrode individualism and ingenuity.
Dan tips his head back and drains his seventh cup of stale black coffee,
And with a cell phone burning next to his ear from unread emails, he smiles
And tells his ex-wife that his life is the best
of all possible possibilities.

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