They’re about us who have to sell,

sell even in our sleep,

produce minute to next minute,

now, tomorrow and the next day,

because without us there would be

no revenue stream,

no commissions, no bonuses, no perqs,

no contests where we could be

No. 1 in the whole world;


about us who can’t sit still

without a beer and a ball game;

about our work ethic, our numbers,

if we’re easy to look at, our motivation,

are we team players, what model car,

how do we vote, are we churchgoers,

where do we live, can we relocate,

the little lady, can she entertain,

our values, can we play golf

or tennis or talk sports?;


about a seasoned wholesale rep

taking turns in the next hotel room

honking hedonism until four in the morning

with two hot shots she met in the bar;


about a cigar smoker down the hall

mixing his sour smell with the sharp stink

of unventilated bathrooms and cologne;


about the wives we love, our boys and girls,

a thousand miles away in a suburb

where we are weekend soccer coaches;


about manhattans with an imaginary pal,

a stack of trade journals,

a lousy salad and cardboard fish;

long walks past overstuffed garbage cans

in the greatest city in the whole world;

another crossword puzzle,

another late night show,

two conventioneers next door

with a drunken model from a hospitality suite;


about how we feel abandoned, how our tears

sabotage us, yet we cannot weep,

our eyes must blaze, we must be amazing,

shake hands with a client and really mean it,

high step out of elevators with the zest

of a running back on the two yard line,

always be gracious and pick up the check,

all for a lightning bolt on a year end graph,

a few free trips to beachfront resorts

with workshops and soul sessions;

about closings that will let us cash out

before our life insurance does;


about waking early morning

in another city, another hotel room,

wondering as we brush our teeth

if any part of us is not for sale,

if we can sleep away from home

without regrets about what slides down

with our hair into a nasty bathtub drain;

whether we can wake unashamed;

whether we can honestly show our children

how best to die


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