To The Woman Checking Her Pits in the Friday Sales Meeting

It’s hot, I know,
and there are places you’d rather be;
the beach for one, same with me,
and with you I would go.

But we are stuck here, my dear;
me in the front and you in the back row
while before us drones the regional manager,
about moving product.

I see you check your pits,
your nose tilted downwards
like a duck plucking at its
pin feathers. It’s the weather,
and we’re all sweating, same as you.

There are risks to sleeveless
dresses in the heat;
yes, they help you stay cool, but by ventilation,
and so your musky fragrance is a revelation.

You hope you don’t offend, but Lord, woman—
look at these men! The thought of your sweat
is the furthest thing from their minds: “Beer, tube, ballgame—

Ugh!” they would grunt if they could.
So let us go, in our minds’ eyes,
to a place that is cool;
a dark and shady grove is best,
and we’ll remove that summer dress.

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