Stick Your Head in the Copier


Let the light seep into your eye sockets,

your pores. Illuminate your hair

with a flash as bright as Vegas.


And you, the you that is not you, the inverse of you,

will be tacked on every cubicle wall

as a reminder of courage. "She took a chance," they'll say.


"Stuck her head into the jaws of the great machine."


(It terrifies all of us, its mysterious appetites and blinking impartations.)


Of course, you may simply be tossed

into the wastebasket, which gorges from 9 to 5

on a bleached coleslaw of trees.


Or recycled into a romance novel,

teeming with breathless heiresses and dark-eyed suitors,

your cracked lips and shadow hair barely recognizable.


In any case, you'll have felt the light in your veins.

For a moment, you'll have glowed like a saint.


Jessica Goodheart

Jessica Goodheart is an environmental researcher and labor activist.