If I fall, who will catch me other
than the ground? Asphalt loves as much
as any absent father, mother, brother.
Is the chemical breath any worse than
the fermented plant one? Silence
is silence. A bruise is a bruise. At least
asphalt doesn’t lie about its concern.
* * *
I work sixty hours in a light week,
pick up odd jobs whenever I can; my
wife does the same. Our clothes
are shredding at the cuffs and crotch
but that’s money we can’t afford
to spend. So we do the best we can
with scissors and thread. We don’t eat
out; we buy generic, even for the baby.
We sleep six hours on a good night
because there’s always more work to do.
My computer is a work computer. My phone
is the cheapest I could find. Vacations mean
go to the park for a couple hours. Don’t tell me
about the working class: you don’t
even know what those words mean.
* * *
Fat softens the fists,
keeps hungry eyes from looking
at what one won’t share
because someone some
where once said it wasn’t worth
the effort to keep
Someday someone will
covet that which I hold most
sacred and I’m not
allowed to shoot them.
Listen: no one knows to whom
* * *
I remember enough of what it is to be alive not
to want to sleep next to the sharp chemical
smell of plastic. The grease lines under
my fingers.The crinkle in answer to my murmured
sighs. It holds a shape, they say, which is a matter
of taste for some, I suppose. But I’d be forever
afraid of popping one like a balloon, or else feeling
the string slip through my fingers as it drifted
up and away. That, and the poison in your face
tell everyone who can see that you are made
for being on your knees. Mouth full, face
incapable of showing sorrow or joy.