Almost two years have passed since then.
My manager Kathy and I escape
Into the office while the other sales associates
Service frantic teenagers and housewives.
We split a granola bar as we sit across
From each other at the metal desk.
“I’m not doing anything tonight,”
She says, dropping her nametag to the floor.
We toss our radios on the desk
So no one will interrupt the frequent bites
Of the granola bar that’s passed back
And forth between rapid dialogue.
“So?” she says. A smile curls up
On her face as the light bulb above
Shines on her back and casts a shadow
Across her sweet expressions.
Her eyes squint and look up at me
As her long black hair drapes over
Her shoulders. “So what?” I ask.
“How much more time will we waste?”
“We close tonight, don’t we?”
She sits back in her chair and twirls
Her hair around her fingertips.
“What was it like growing up in Korea?”
She looks to me as words
Quietly gather behind her lips.
“The toilets are disgusting.”
“Yeah, so I’ve heard.”
She finishes the granola bar and drops
The wrapper in the trash.
I lean back in the cold steel chair
And watch the time. “Three more hours,”
I tell her.
She glances at the clock
And returns her eyes to me.
“This is fun,” she whispers.
With our radios off we slouch
In the folding chairs, smile within
Fractions of false light, laugh like
Children in a tree house,
Pass time that never ends . . .