portion of the artwork for Marcia LeBeau's poem

This Ain’t No Mad Men Pencil-Skirt World
Marcia LeBeau

Pushing the snooze button further into lateness,
you choke on humidity, take a cold shower, and die a little

under the water. You drag yourself to the train station,
climb the double-decker steps for a better view

of the swamplands and smokestacks of New Jersey
and if you’re lucky—sleep. You might read a poem, but mostly

you just tunnel into Manhattan bedrock, preparing to write rhymes
about the average sneeze being, well, not so average.

Please recognize a sneeze goes 100 mph, so it deserves a strong
tissue, not an everyday tissue. Take note while the Puffs puppets

proclaim, “It’s not just Felix’s sneeze that goes 100 mph.
Everyone who sneezes has that much power.”

These are the concerns eleven floors up across from Macy’s
where the A/C cranks so heavy you’ve had to duct tape

a piece of cardboard over the vent so you can daydream
of Thanksgiving morning when the balloons pass your office

at eye level and pray that SpongeBob makes a wrong turn
and crashes through your window. You’ll come in

Monday, the computers smashed, the storyboards about sneezes-

and-eating-on-the-go will have been ground
into the synthetic carpet so deeply, the rug won’t know

whether to go shopping or just lie there for eternity.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 47 | Spring 2016