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Gary Powell


Corporate Warriors

We are profiles in likeness
in our gray business attire,
splash of color in our ties,
cell phone whining in our ears.

We have important places to be
as we careen through streets
and airports, teleconference
with peers, interface and meet.

We do it for our families, our companies
and our teams, for the false sense of
security that allows us to sleep through
the night. For the sweet suck of the deal.

We queue up at our cubicles, genuflect
and cross ourselves before the throne
of the corporate prophet, awaiting the
news: merger, acquisition, or divestiture.

And in the CEO’s name we pray:

This stock option is my body
Think of me when you eat.
This red ink is my blood
Think of me when you drink.

We are the gray men, the
hollow men, living in a dead
land, a land stuffed with IOUs
and motherfucking lawyers.

We are the in-between, the rut
and rub on the road from desire
to spasm. We are the gut wrench
of the downward trending Dow.

So:

Give us this day our daily bread, man,
and forgive us our debts, although we
will never forgive our debtors. For

shareholder value is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
and the stick with which
we beat the competition
into submission.

Gary V. Powell, a recovering lawyer, is currently a home chef and all-around handy-man. His fiction can be read in many literary journals including the Thomas Wolfe Review, Carvezine, Fiction Southeast, Atticus Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Best New Writing 2015, and Pisgah Review. His first novel, Lucky Bastard, was published by Main Street Rag Publishing (2012). Two collections of prize-winning and previously-published short stories and flash fiction, Beyond Redemption and Getting Even and Other Stories, were released in 2015 and 2019, respectively.

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