Poetry by Richard Cole
In our cubicles at dawn, staring at monitors. Four hours ahead, the New York market is opening. We lean forward. Our baby offering, dear God, make it happen. Numbers start crawling across the bottom of the screen. Our stock opens and the price declines, unsteady, then it gains 2 dollars.
The floor trembles.
For a moment, the market ponders, watching itself. The stock ticks, ticks, ticks, ticks up 5 dollars … 8 … then 12 and surging now, gaining traction and we take a breath and everyone starts talking ….
On the roof, the bright sails flair open
and belly tight in the wind, cables humming,
and our building lurches, starts to move,
grinding forward with the windows shaking,
market numbers climbing on top of each other
and we’re cheering now and the building scrapes
across the lawns of the office park, leaving raw earth
and tiny figures running through the parking lots,
shouting and waving their papers,
and our building advances across the freeway,
cars screeching, slamming into each another
as we pass like a grand hallucination, like a dinosaur
crushing the bridges, red lights flashing
and then suddenly it’s silent. We’re aloft
and rising, power lines dangling
beneath us like wild nerves, broken pipes
spitting and swaying in the wind.
Everyone stands at the windows, unbelieving.
The CEO clears his throat. His eyes glitter
kindly as he stirs his coffee and gets up to speak.
“A billion per year,” he says.
A hush fills the room. Our eyes shine like his
and our minds are racing as we calculate options,
and he talks and talks us higher, our dreamweaver,
our knight of faith, and the stock keeps rising
and we’re sailing faster and we all grow silent,
staring in wonder as the clouds rise up
before us, massive and brilliant, like solid rock.