An Office Cleaner’s Song

Obsessive cleaning days,
These stemmed in response
To loneliness through
Teenage years, formative
Self, God bless him,
Positioning twice-polished
Objet d’arts to impress
Visiting schoolfriends
Who did not materialise
At pre-agreed times, or
More and less did not exist.
Later on, the routine
Continued in post-ironic
Hypotenuses, supplements
For pathologists to comment
On his tidiness. Omnipotent,
Poetic death, how you
Betrayed the boyishness
And so in through false doors
Of adulthood where I knew
How to polish and vacuum
And launder myself, to fill
The elemental inward plume
Where people’s templates
Tessellated into mortgages
And interest rates,
Subpoenas and non variable
Affairs with office project
Collaborators as I cleansed
Stairwells and photocopiers,
Coffee mug-stained desks
And illuminated exit signs.
I ambled on, varnishing stars
And hopes with holes in the
Slopping buckets, and cabinets
With space remaining
For medals and certificates
Unfaltering peers will win.
Onwards, I cleaned the shelves
And surfaces of my better
Options, while Time
Increased its margins
And defenestrated.
So now I still scrub hard
On all fours at stains
Which exist only for
I thought of this, and would
Do anything to abstain from
Myself, with bleach and green
Washing liquid, surrounded
By unborn poems deserted
And replete with the awful beauty,
The awful beauty, yes,
The achievements of workers.

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