The Myth of Loyalty

I got laid off again
Had security
snatched
like spiteful spouse
yanking covers in the night
Laundromat stomach
Tumbling thoughts
of two kids, two cars
and a mortgage

I’ve heard the fifth time
comes with a robe
Embroidered on the back
with the words
“Never get too comfortable”
Beneath them, a giant “0”
Elongated enough
to remind me
I’m just a place holder
A warm body in a seat
Shoveling shit
with gaping smile
Occasional residue
on the teeth

I got laid off again
And I’m tired
Tired of codes of conduct
that reside
on a one-way street
Monuments to hypocrisy
There is no humanity
in “commodity”
And I realize
what privilege it is
to speak such things
and have the option
of walking away
But I’m trying
to build
towards something

Amidst a nation of uncertainty
I’m trying to fashion Gibraltar
from the paper
between
the perforations
I’m trying to weave
my babies
401k safety nets
for fear they might one day
lose their balance
Yet this layoff
A landmine
that shrapnels my thoughts
I’m trying
to offer my girls
Peace of mind
But my mind’s in pieces

I once saw a man
die on the job
Watched
as he was wheeled out
like outdated machinery
Listened
for acknowledgement
that never came
Only an acronym
BAU
“Business As Usual”
Three words
as lifeless
as the body
they swept under the rug
like inconvenience

I got laid off again
And I want to twist
this dagger
until it bleeds
opportunity
I want to rip it from
my back
and use it
to cut chords
Like untethering
earthbound dreams
aching for the chance to fly
I want to hold it over coals
Until sparks
Ignite my ambition
to turn over and fire
A “fuck you very much”
I’m reclaiming my time

And you might question
why I’ve penned
this hostile poem
to my plight
I got laid off again
And I have no excuse
not to write

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