“matters of financial security” by Michael Patrick McSweeney

we knew the company was failing after the fourth door slam,
but our fingers scurried back to their duties, clattering on keyboards
while the sun dipped behind the glass towers. it was friday,
& an hour later we traders were gathered on thin metal chairs
in a warm break room to crack open styrofoam escapes,
oscillate with laughter & wave wooden chopsticks like wands.
the magic of chicken tenderloins sliced, then gauzed
in deep brown-orange angina sauce pulled us farther
from the desks where we sewed paper wings to dollar bills.
later, at my desk, I heard & felt desks & chairs dragged
across the floor above us, their howls like men desperate
to crawl back, to hold their position. names in my chat box
flickered away in rising succession, & the manager's office
roared another time. then the e-mail: conference 1.
soon after we traders watched brave red lines soar across a screen
before plunging like a flock that forgot to flap.
the sound of a finger tugging at a hidden soda can's tab
orchestrated the dance of a laser pointer's red bulls-eye
as it circled a green rectangle towering over a list of names.

Michael Patrick McSweeney is an artist and educator from the Boston region. His work has appeared in numerous journals and various regions of the Internet thanks to truly wonderful individuals. He is also the founder and chief financial officer of a used submarine conglomerate, the business website of which can be found at discountsubmarines.wordpress.com, and he hopes you have a great day.