You’re just not the right fit, he said,
his eyes already turned away,
staring at his computer screen
with a half-frown.
I had no use for dignity then,
pleaded for some kind of explanation,
something that I could do, anything.
If I’m not the right fit,
I could carve myself down,
force myself into the empty space,
maybe it would be just a little off,
but I could fit,
make myself fit.
He was annoyed then,
He hadn’t been expecting argument,
bargaining, stammering pleas.
He thought maybe I’d disappear,
like when you would turn off old TVs,
and the picture would shrink into a tiny little square
You aren’t the right fit, he repeated.
It was immutable, this fit.
He had thought everyone knew that.
The behaviors I promised to change—
asking the wrong questions,
laughing at the wrong times,
making silly mistakes—
were just symptoms of the inherent wrongness of me.
Implied in this declaration of disharmony
was the hope that I would fit somewhere else,
but that was not his concern.
He had his assistant come in then.
She was really good at sweeping away
the misshapen and the discarded,
gently herding you along
with soft condolences and chitchat,
then once you were out the door,
turning around and leaving you there,
alone, blinking in the blinding sunlight.