Deborah Hauser, 6/4/2012
Current Occupation: Claims representative at the insurance company where Wallace Stevens worked.
Contact Information: Deborah Hauser is the author of Ennui: From the Diagnostic and Statistical Field Guide of Feminine Disorders (Finishing Line Press, 2011). She graduated from Stony Brook University with a Masters in English Literature. Her poetry has been published, or is forthcoming, in journals such as The Wallace Stevens Journal, dogwood, and DASH.
Thursday Afternoon in the Department of Risk Management
April rain spits at darkened office windows
while files multiply in stacks of bland manila
and sheaves of memos are continuously misfiled.
I write angry e-mails and then delete them.
I try to reach you on my lunch hour, the call goes straight to voice mail.
I apply data bytes and spreadsheets to natural disasters,
quantifying potential risk. You can minimize risk
and mitigate damages, but avoidance is not elimination. I wear
the keys to the safe deposit box and the Ladies’ Room
around my wrist on a coiled rubber bracelet.
I skip the self-defense class in the atrium.
The Pendaflex swing. At the bottom of my file
drawer is an emergency test kit. We agreed
we would be safe, but you were in the throes
of ambiguity while I took you
at the plain meaning of an ordinary word.