chance of mist

My cubicle colleague calls out
“I have a cat story for you”.
She rounds the corner into my little fabric-covered veal pen
and starts in.
There is an old cat on her cul-de-sac,
statuesque and stubborn.
In the wee hours it is causing her patio motion sensor light
to blare into the dark.


Suddenly my eyes inappropriately mist.
One day I shall be old and infirm and confined to my bed.
The memory of this idiot anecdote will come to me,
limned in platinum, as will an unbearable synaptic snapshot
of the dull carpet of this office, the gay laughter of my office mates,
the stink of burned coffee and the numb deciduous trees
right outside that dust-streaked window
shivering in sunlight.


My colleague sees my eyes watering and recoils,
retreats to her ergonomically pristine computer chair.
Surely this is the carpal tunnel of love.