Philip Fried


I regret to inform you that, in the purview of immutable discretion,
it has now become necessary to downsize the elect.

It may seem strange that of the great body of humankind some like yourself,
predestined to salvation, should be laid off.

But please bear in mind that the Boss does not guarantee for all an eternal position,
and even those initially receiving the wages of grace may be let go.

It must be plain how greatly ignorance of this principle detracts from his glory and impairs true humility.

In your pre-termination meeting, you will be briefed on re-salvation options.
You may come as a grievant or a supplicant.

Now, quickly step away from your papers, even those with only stray marks and doodles,
and a guard will escort you from the Office.

If you have any question about how your severance reveals the obscurity of the Boss’s say-so,
don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for the services you have rendered,
and I wish you every success in your post-salvation existence.

From Early/Late: New and Selected Poems, Salmon Poetry, Ireland, 2011