Social Security

Office.. Is this an
office? New people, too many,
numbers, speaker voice, too loud,
coughs, conversation, sometimes at
the same time, security guard asking
me if I have any weapons, I tell him
only my mind, he doesn’t find it
At all. I smell smoke, or smoke on someone,
ladies to my right laugh, about what?
Quiz sequence on monitor, testing
our knowledge of disability
and other programs or laws or
what the bloody ever.
I’m sick,
I feel sick.
“You have a good day,” the guard says.
“Clown,” I think, in his mock-protector
uniform. Z24, window 2, the speaker says.
What are they here for? What do they want?
What’s their story? Why do I have
to wait?
I just want a new card!
This is taking too long, and I need a beer–
Whole Foods just around the corner,
the one with the beer counter in it.
I won’t run today, did last night, and this warrants. No, coffee instead, yes,
cuz this is exhausting.
The papers keep sliding off
my lap and to the floor,
“Yuck,” I think, “I touched the floor,
this filthy office floor.” Not
loving this, or why I’m here, the why and
ends and means. Goddamn jobs–
Z28, window two– excuses and anger and demands
for money, yeah I want some too,
I deserve some after this visit, at least enough
to pay for my beer, or coffee.
“I have a receipt and…” A man
says, and he goes on about his
story. Oh that coffee, am I allowed to
leave and come back? No they’ll
call my number. The man coughs
in the middle of his lines. I’m
A119. What does that mean?