Today I sat down in his office
to talk about something important.
It was about this man that bothers me at work.
He says things to me about my legs, my skirt,
My hair, my waist and I don't like it but hey --
he's my boss.
So I talked about him and the things he says
And I came clean, laid it all out on the table,
and I wonder why I could never say anything
Why it had to end up here, upstairs,
In the offices that are quiet,
muffled in the plush office carpets that are so soft
because they are made to carry whispers and hold them
so that they can't escape.
But I am here and I am telling it and it
Still bothers me because he is my boss.
I have to tell another man about the
Other man, the man downstairs
Who wants to give me rides home,
The man who I say no to because "you are my boss."
So later on that day, during a break,
my friend is looking at me funny and
he reaches over and pulls it out, a silver hair at my temple.
I think about my hair, the one he pulled out
Like a chimp digging for lice and I sigh
With the brittle hair in my hand and think about
The offices and the silence and my first gray hair
And the men I have to talk to to get the other men
To stop talking and I hold the gray hair in my fingers
And close my eyes. And I blow -- for good luck.
Myriam Gurba lives in Long Beach, California, and works as a high school teacher. She has written for magazines such as Girlfriends, On Our Backs, Punk Planet, and Clamor. Her writing has been published in anthologies by Cleis Press, Alyson Publications, and Touchstone. She is a former intern of On Our Backs magazine. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in history and is basically a nerd. She loves kitsch, modern furniture, gang girls, hip-hop, Mexico, and her girlfriends. She is constantly inspired by her family and is loud, brown, and proud.
Issue 10 or Lodestar Quarterly home page