State Your Name and Your Business Here

I’m not used to such formality, and there’s the additional layer
of being ordered to do this by a man wearing a semi-automatic pistol.
People carrying guns, whenever I encounter them, make me nervous.

I tell him my name and that I’m headed upstairs to have lunch with a friend
who’s a judge, and I mumble to confirm with him that her office is on the third floor.

After I pass through the metal detector, which always takes multiple tries,
my titanium hips enjoying how the minute, serial scrutiny tortures me,
I fumble together all the items I’d emptied from my pockets
while the guards, looking like they weren’t hired for their sense of humor,
glare at me, this further examination causing me to tremble and sweat.

I ask where the elevators are located and hardly hear the directions,
my mind numb with visions of bullets flying to the music of everyone screaming.
Having not comprehended the instructions due to my hysterical deafness,
I wander suspiciously around the first floor of the judiciary building
passing the large guards several times, hoping they’re too busy to notice.

Finally finding the elevators tucked away in a dimly lit cranny,
I slump in exhausted and brace myself against the cold steel wall,
the ding of my floor forcing me to stand up and move out.
Locating my friend’s office is another puzzle I have to solve,
but I stumble across her secret cave and offer a feeble knock.

She asks where we should go for lunch and I hesitate.
I’m looking for my lost my appetite, not sure I’ll find it again.

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