They’re about us who have to sell,

sell even in our sleep, about product,

about marketing in a leap at a wake-up call,

marketing as the last thought before sleep,

about discounts, razor thin deals

and knowing how to close,

for without us there would be no

revenue streams, no stock price bumps,

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,

our motivation, our values;

are we easy to look at,

where do we live, what do we drive;

does the wife play tennis or golf,

love to entertain?


About two loud conventioneers in the next

hotel room at 2 a.m. sharing a drunken model

from their hospitality suite,

the cigar smoker down the hall

mixing his sour smell with the sharp stink

of unventilated bathrooms and cologne


About the women 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 lousy salad and a cardboard fish chewed

on the edge of a bed in front of a TV,

a stack of trade journals, another easy paperback

to dodge the fear


About how we feel abandoned, let down,

yet we cannot slump or weep,

our eyes must blaze, we must be amazing,

high step out of elevators with the zest

of a running back on the two-yard line,

endure hardy handshakes with clients who will

help us cash out before our life insurance does,

always be gracious and laugh at their jokes


About a lifetime spent for a lightning bolt

on a year-end graph,

a few free trips to beachfront resorts

with workshops and soul sessions,

a year-end bonus if we bust our ass


About burnt coffee gulped from a paper cup

in another hotel room in another city

wondering as we brush our teeth

if any part of us is not up for grabs,

if we can shower away from home

without regret about what slides with

our hair down a nasty corrupted drain,

whether we can return home

on late Friday afternoons and face

our kids with a crooked wink,

a halfway hug and a briefcase of lies.