The CEO of Happiness Speaks

Marcus Wicker

Mostly what I do is exercise my lungs
in praise of everything:

Meryl Streep movies. Porcelain
roosters. Daisies. Fuchsia teddy bears

gifted to better halves at carnivals.
Every bike trail and alleyway. Every

single road I walk is lined with the signage
of joy. And I’m not exactly complaining  

but imagine being this way full time.
Compare it to staring at the sun too long—

What happens after.   Goldenrod grid
viewpoint.       World as scatter plot.

My punch clock ticks from the second 
I wake and it’s hard to tell the difference

between shifts. Think pleasure as computer
generated dots. Palm trees like pinstripes.

Think I’m crazy if you want
but the world actually moves me maybe

once every year. Last night it happened
at a party, when Jackie told a story 

about a kid who couldn’t tie her shoes.
Mornings at the tired bus stop. Try

after try, she’d loop and swoop her heart out—
folding in front of peers.

But before first bell in the bathroom stall.
Or during gym in a low traffic corner

her best friend Kim fashioned her laces
into elegant bows. She did this

with a smile. For years. Imagine
an act selfless as ducking down.

As bending at the knee, away from a crowd.
Some of what I do requires overwatering

crops in favor of a happy, local clientele.
My job is important, and I like it and all.

But I love that Jackie’s story was told
in first person. Think genuflection

with no motive other than praise.
Think of Kim and Jackie making my job 

easy but hard. Picture Jackie carefully
sliding off white Keds

to savor Kim’s craftsmanship. Envision 
those loops. Indefinitely intact.

Now, think of what makes you happy.
Get back to me. We’ll do lunch.