The comment about bodies wasn’t meant
flirtatiously, and yet it served to lighten
the room the way a shaft of sun will brighten
a gloomy day. Consider the intent,
half-formed, by the first person to invent
a workplace innuendo: it should heighten
team rapport, and at the same time tighten
the grip we have on words we might repent.
For words are hard to hold; we let them fall
and in the act of falling they convert
into the words the listeners want to hear
and offer back in earnest. We have all
allowed ourselves to be embroiled, got hurt;
there’s no joke someone hasn’t found sincere.
Originally appeared in Sunken Lines e-zine #2