His routine was seamless. The electric
alarm rattled at 6. Cornflakes

with powdered milk & instant
coffee at 6:15. He stepped

on the train from Lombard
to Chicago at 6:55. He held

his Samsonite briefcase in his left
hand, Tribune in his right.

He worked on the 44th
floor of the world’s tallest

building in an office the size
of an outhouse. There was no talk

of things uncontrolled
or concealed. Not the pain he

could not pinpoint. Ovaries.
Falopian tubes. Voiceless

yearning for a friend or two.  After
mother left him, he arranged

his work clothes precisely
on the cedar chest at 8:30 pm. Kept

his socks, all dark gray,
in pairs held together with safety

pins. All purchases written
neatly in a black bound

notebook that fit into his shirt
pocket. When they filled

up he stored them in Ziplocs
and stacked them in the bottom

drawer of his deep
brown slant top desk.