After I sort the blue books
collate the scantrons
do the multiplication, the addition, the recording
when I finally reach the entering I feel as though
the work at hand is incantational.
This cruel alchemy
turns agency and anxiety
into a bell curve of tally-marks
and screen-dotting numbers.
If there is a turning-to-gold
it is found in the repetition of their names
And I wish each well
as I archive, sometimes with cringing disappointment,