A ray of light glitters on the skyscraper
and blinds me on my way down the stairs,
past the sleeping neighbours in my apartment building—
past the doorman—a woman—who nods to me silently,
acknowledging the headphones and wry smile
glittering on my face.
A thick mist blinds taxi drivers for a few blocks,
white and grey on the concrete world,
and sits and rests from its time in the sky
gathering droplets to cover this city on some night
or some day or afternoon
when the cluster of moisture ascends back home.
My walk down the street fills me with tension
but no fear. The haze around me is a repeat
of the moments my eyes and ears opened this morning
to the honking and faded taxi cab on the curb.
My clunky, comfortable boots smack the concrete,
like kneading it for baking, like turning the molecules
from liquid and paste to elastic crumb.
Dirt lines the sidewalk, dry as sand, and sifts under my heels.
these combat boots are not for battle–just for fashion,
and the pounding menace to delight every step
on my way to an okay job that keeps my mind off
who made all these molecules and why.
My cousin waves quickly at me through the bakery window
down the street from my open-concept office
her face and hands covered in almond flour.
She and her celiac disease founded “G-F-Delish”
and though the wheat dominating the world does not hurt me,
her cakes and pies and cookies are divine. I return her wave
and cross the gratefully empty intersection, Work looming
high above, the sky reflecting in the windows.
The office has a single floor in this building
like all the other businesses above and below us.
My job title boasts Senior Information Technician
on my business cards and resume,
but amongst the simple network setup, the modem, the router,
the dongles on desktops without wireless adaptors,
I am the Data Analyst and Bookkeeper for
this beloved startup, in the heart of a beloved city.
At my desk, my computer, my software,
I alter, needlessly, the lines and borders
above and below the numerical statistics on my screen.
The founder works a second job, building this new company
on the side. She is kind and assertive. She hired me on conditions,
not demands or requirements or experience,
out of the pity and knowledge that I couldn’t make rent.
A year into the job and we have grown,
and our finances improved, with the charts in this program,
the numbers from my keyboard, and the co-workers
quietly sipping coffee or tea or water at their desks.
These women around me, with their myriad shoes,
blazers and cardigans, humble their prowess,
and continually build us up—build the business—
build the world.
We are small, like bacteria in the gut regulating acidity,
and we are mighty enough for ourselves,
for the paychecks and satisfaction;
for the clients and customers here and around;
for the clattering of keyboards;
for the joy of production.