That One Time We Were on NPR...

by Emily Sparkles

Twelve people in the band,
the two women arrive first
(arrive on time).

Greeted with courtesy by the assistant,
the one with the most humility,
doing most of the work. 

Producers and interns walk around.

Big chief producer,
big glasses, big scarf, big hair,
big needs, constant walk-bys, look-ats, and always ignoring

Stage left;
band arrives,
one more walks in as the big chief does, too.

Big chief: "Are you the lead?"
Him: "No."
Big chief: "But you're in the band, right?"

A details-conversation.
With praise and thanks for the band.
Decisions to be made posed -
only to him.

Eyes wide, mouths dropped.
Eyes narrowed, power stances assumed.
Opinions offered, though not asked for.

Conversation over.
Anger rising faster than our ascent up the stairs.
Exit the building,
"Fuck the patriarchy" screamed at the skies.

Band members and stage hands mill around.

"Are you girls going to help carry gear in? 
There's still plenty of light items left."
She picked up the heaviest item.
And I held the doors.