A Practical Guide to Building and Maintaining an Office Relationship by Karen Jakubowski

Act playful. Be coquettish. Let it escalate
to filthy innuendo. Brush
against each other in the hall.
Avoid the water cooler at all times.
They will question your thirst patterns
when you both convene in the kitchen.

Don’t kiss in elevators;
voyeur cameras ogle you.
Never go to lunch together.

Sacrifice your desire. Clutch the mouse.
Stare at a blank screen, lick his coffee from your lips.
Bite your finger while daydreaming of foreplay.
Pain brings you back to reality.
Stand close to his chair when reviewing documents
so he can slide his hand up your thigh.
They can’t see that over the cubicle walls.

Piss off the founding partner.
He’ll sic his mini-me
drones with their hawkeye stealth
to hover over you, a field mouse.
Get dragged into the partner feud.
You are the rope in their tug of war.
You will be chastised for following instructions.

Hang wind chimes at each workstation.
Their tinkle alarms you when the spies breeze by.
Photocopy your face and stick it on a lifesize doll.
Sit it in your chair with its hands tied
to the keyboard, so they won’t notice
you’ve gone missing again.
Linger at the desk of another employee.
Call everyone honey.

Hide behind his office door.
He will cling to the doorknob with one hand,
cup your breast with the other. Pretend
no one can hear you moaning
through the OSHA memos papering the walls.

Squat when refilling the copy machine.
Dip your hips a little lower when he offers to help.
Your favorite word is go. It is an order you challenge.
You let your lover say it again and again.

Consider signing a waiver.
Tell them you won’t sue
for sexual harassment because
you really do want to fuck your boss.
It has nothing to do with climbing anything corporate.

Previously published in Reckless Writing, edited by Penny Dunning.

Karen JakubowskiKaren Jakubowski daylights as a paralegal – real estate is her niche. She can be found in coffee shops or reading tarot.  Karen is a Pushcart Prize nominee.  Local Gems Press released her poetry collection Scrawny Girl in 2013.  Scrawny Girl is available on www.amazon.com.  Her poetry has appeared in numerous on-line journals and print anthologies.

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