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The Loneliest Job in the World by Tony Hoagland

Resolving to do better next week. I don’t know what I’m running from, but I’m doing that again. I need to stop.

The Loneliest Job in the World
Tony Hoagland

As soon as you begin to ask the question, Who loves me?
you are completely screwed, because
the next question is How Much?

and then it is hundreds of hours later,
and you are still hunched over
your flowcharts and abacus,

trying to decide if you have gotten enough.
This is the loneliest job in the world:
to be an accountant of the heart.

It is late at night. You are by yourself,
and all around you, you can hear
the sounds of people moving

in and out of love,
pushing the turnstiles, putting
their coins in the slots,

paying the price which is asked,
which constantly changes.
No one knows why.

Comments (1)

  • sh.

    i love you so much that this poem broke my heart. people can say i do not even know you, am a besotted visitor, writing incoherent messages to you, late at night. but i don’t want anything from you. your selections hurt me – because they are real, because they are true, because and because and because

    reply

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