Poem for the recently laid off

By - Feb 13, 2020

Now that I am unemployed
I can focus on my real passion:
Reading poems
To share on social media
Another passion to now pursue:
Long-winded emails that are actually kind of sad
Is there anything sadder than a long-winded email?
But can we talk about it, these long-winded emails
And long-winded texts
Sent from a crowded restaurant
Where you’ve been eating alone
And the server asks, Are you OK?
Which, you know, isn’t actually notable
Save for the real concern in her voice
You’d been sitting there
Hand to head
Heart to your mouth
Send the text
Get the reply
You are taking agency over your own life,
An ex-coworker says, over coffee
Suggests skipping town for the month
Getting a new haircut
He’s a good person, kind, one of the ones you’ll miss
And you politely agree
While secretly pulling away
He suggests being “enigmatic”
Weirdly he’s talking about job applications
But you know what he really means is life
You ask how old he is
And he can’t remember at first
Twenty-seven or twenty-eight, he says
With a pause, then a laugh
You are no longer twenty-seven or twenty-eight
Or twenty-nine or thirty
Or thirty-one or thirty-two or thirty-three or thirty-four
Really, though, you welcome it
A new demographic to click
In useless online surveys
That you nonetheless take
Because you’re curious
Want to make extra money? it asks
Here’s how
You know you’ll never win
That it’s just your data they want
For more surveys
But isn’t it kind of sweet
You think
Romantic, even
Sharing with someone
Anything at all?
No need to reply.