Revised from 2009.
seven hundred dollars worth of merchandise
for Christmas for her pets.
Yells at me when I can’t hear her
spell “Misty” and “Sparky”
for the matching personalized doggy PJs.
My headset is wonky
and drowning in static,
and the boss won’t give me another one.
I press my hands to the headphones
and take her abuse, apologizing, advising her
about sizes on merchandise I’ve never seen
as if I care about this, because
I do, I want her to be happy, want her to buy more
if only for the commission I’ll make if she does,
so I make it up and keep a gentle tone
even though I’m so ready to be done with her
and her cherished pets, Misty and Sparky
with their obvious names,
a couple of Black Labs,
probably sleek and shiny
and well fed without being overfat,
who will soon be getting
an extra run in everyday
on their new bridle leather harnesses,
sleeping in their new cedar framed
twill cushioned beds.
If you want to understand why I listen to punk,
barking and snarling along with the music
all the way to work and all the way home,
this should help.