Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Loneliest Profession In The World

There are many professions in this world.
And though work occupies us in ways
deep and shallow,
not all professions are equally

professional. Some people get paid

to kiss. Some fall in love
for money. Some even do it
for free. And yet I’ve always done it
willingly, albeit slyly,

brokering my deals with the lilt of a pout
that suddenly breaks into a smile—I have
always loved this part. Falling in love
with the customer is, after all,

the glissando flourish of the heart.

Ah... if only it was as easy as the song
and dance about it.
Night after night
of working on one project after another, like

“What to say and what to do
when there’s nothing left to say or to do?”

Who’d ever thought love could be so taxing
on one’s capital and imagination?

Not to mention the competition!
And jealousy that stoic opportunistic constant!
To have just one or to have it all?
Questions, questions that burn...

And the answers that sting... like the blitz of champagne
on the severed tongue of a memory...

Back at the shop, some days the business
pours in. Some days
it’s adequately lean.
But we soldier on, my heart and me, in the service
of one plan and then another,

wearing our battle stars
like stigmatas and scars. Scars
from listening too closely. Scars from
pretending to care. Or caring too much
for someone whose emotional cheques

just bounced and bounced. It’s no joke

when the laughter is broke.
But this IS the loneliest profession
in the world. And it doesn’t matter really

if there’s no bonus or pension at the end,
when the loneliness has itself been
the means to
an enemy.

An enemy and a friend.

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