She’s in the back row,
rays of moted sunlight in this room
distract her from her work.
At the head table, words, sales figures, facts, selling points
flutter like ash from a housefire,
urgent, bright, smoky—flecks catch on the surface
of the river of opening remarks,
spiral on eddies beneath the product table.
A trout’s jumped over in coffee and rolls,
crabs click on the fruit trays,
goldfinches flit in the chandeliers.
A frog in the breast pocket of the CEO’s suit
leaps to fly-swarmed fact sheets and catalogs.
On the opposite shore, where carpet spreads like grass
beneath cedar-ratcheted bluffs,
she lounges, blue sky flashes off the back of her eye.
She sighs; her breath smells of rain on pines,
she feels cool river sand between her toes.
Sturgeon poke weary eyes out of the sand
at the end of shrouded folding tables.
When the fish move, reeds wave bony fingers at the clouds;
cottonwoods rattle in the wind.