Anthem

We, of the overbearing bosses,
the sovereign bosses
hovering over our desks,
we, just looking to advance our careers,
or seeking guidance, a leg up,
we, the young, the naïve, the beautiful, we, who
misconstrue a dinner or drink invitation
as part of the job, we, good workers,
wanting only to please—
confuse our hope for a genuine bond, or even love,
with a sinful kiss,
a cool hookup,
since aren’t these the precursors of love?

For years, we bury the shame,
we bury our tongues, we
bury our pride, our pain—
until we dredge up memories
from deep in a dark place—
a yeasty smell,
a stained skirt—
we unearth all those hatchets
and clang them together
in cacophonous clatter.

 

Carla Schwartz is a poet, filmmaker, photographer, and blogger. Her poems have appeared in Aurorean, Arlington Literary Journal, Eyedrum Periodically, The Fourth River, Fulcrum, Blue Fifth Review, Cardiff, Common Ground Review, Cactus Heart Press, Gyroscope Review, Ibbetson Street Press, Tree, Silkworm, Solstice Literary Magazine, Submittable, Switched-on Gutenberg, Triggerfish, Varnish, and Weatherbeaten Literature, among others. Her poem, “Wormageddon,” appears as a model poem in The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics, edited by Diane Lockward. Her poem Gum Surgery was anthologized in City of Notions, A Boston Poetry Anthology. She has published two full books of poetry: Intimacy with the Wind (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and Mother, One More Thing (Turning Point, 2014).  Her CB99videos YouTube channel has 2,000,000+ views. Learn more at carlapoet.com, or wakewiththesun.blogspot.com, or find her on Twitter or Instagram @cb99videos.