A benefit-cost analysis is not
invariably a heartless act. Some days
the sex and drugs provide opportunities
worth the investment. I remember years
it seems best to have wasted in just that way,
the hours after work dissolved in fern bars.
These nights I go to bed to dream them back,
happy not to have worked late achieving
the praise of bosses who will soon retire
to die or lurk on the margins mumbling
oracular inanities. Even now
I watch the interns sharing private jokes—
the punch lines beyond me. I was never
anywhere near that brilliant, just alive.
M.A. Schaffner has had poems published in Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Agni, Poetry Ireland, Poetry Wales, and elsewhere. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the nineteenth century.
Image: Figure 1 from “Life-Cycle Cost Analysis for Buildings Is Easier Than You Thought”