Business Casual – Bruce Robinson

          …he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me.
          – Shaw, Man and Superman
He puts on his socks one at a time,

then discovers it was pants: And legs,
one leg at a time. So he does that,

but no help, none at all. Nothing seems to help.
Well, wait: at least his socks are on,
poised on the proper feet too. Two feet. And his pants,

they’re on, properly zipped.
And buttoned. As time passes, there it goes,
people begin to say of him, and with respect,

that great as he was, ah, well, look
at what he’s wearing, and of his habit,
and of his habit of, yes, putting his pants on

sequentially, left, right, always
the way you’re reading right now
or the way you should be reading,

the way I was brought up, after all,
which is what we tend to call
reliability, and which gives many of us

some assurance to face a closet
you can rely on only to confront us,
fastidiously late, with a look

that could be called, yes, withering,
or wait, there’s still, rags over bone,
a knot in a tie you could untie,

before, of its own accord, it comes
undone, oh, keep your shirt on, depend
upon it, your time will come.

Bruce RobinsonRecent work by Bruce Robinson appears or is forthcoming in Mobius, Fourth River/Tributaries, South Florida Poetry Journal, Panoply, Red Earth Review, and Pangyrus. He acknowledges the presence and support of the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Key West Literary Workshops.