Dress Code

by Jen Ashburn —

The aloe-scented waiter has spent the decades
of his working life polishing silver coffee carafes
with such incarnate wisdom and joy that the white orchids
in the foyer crane with yearning to see their reflection.

There is an office behind a red-cherry door.
You imagine leather upholstery, but let’s face it,
you’ll never know.

The golf carts all have new black tires
and roll carefully over the Lucite-covered linoleum.

We are as serious as an autopsy.

Church services in the sunroom every day at 10 a.m.

You’ll need a new suit.

Jen Ashburn is the author of the full-length poetry collection The Light on the Wall (Main Street Rag, 2016), and has work published in numerous venues, including The Writer’s Almanac, The MacGuffin and Whiskey Island. She holds an MFA from Chatham University, and lives in Pittsburgh.