work

Small victories

I saw a car

just like mine; 

same make, 

same color. 

It had, however, 

nicer factory wheels. 

I had to admit

it looked really good. 

As I drove past

I saw

that the drivers window

was covered

with a giant smear

of bird – shit.

That’s perfect. 

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It’s only just everyday, that’s all.

A homeless man stands
at fifth and Olive
and gestures to the curb,
like a man giving hand-signals
for a vehicle backing up.
But it’s just an argument
in his head
we aren’t privy to.
I don’t know
what madness is,
though.
He is caught in a loop
that is clearly marked off
as troubled…
but the line is fuzzy and vast
and I think we are all on it, too…
somewhere.
His loop,
his obvious broken nature,
can be observed
as I pass by at thirty miles an hour.
But we all loop.
Seen from afar
I look manic
and broken, too.
My day repeats,
my week follows…
and then a year…
and then a lifetime.
For what?
I gesture to no one
and wave my arms
as I break my body
for a paycheck
and little else.
We are all mad,
all fractured,
you just have to watch us
a little longer
to see it.

Tiny-Bully

I am working
in the back room
of a small grocery store,
not too far
from the restrooms.
A little girl
(perhaps nine
or ten)
returning from the restroom
suddenly hugs
my left arm.
She is scrawny,
pig-tailed
and precocious….
She says,
“Hello, fat-boy!”
and grins wide.
I manage to mumble a,
“Wha..?”
She repeats herself,
her smile widening,
her eyes fluttering.
I cannot tell
if she is cruel
or kidding…
all I wonder
is
is it wrong
to want to punch
a child?

Withering, inside

I have a mech-suit
I wear.
It is bulky
and it let’s me
do…
just
do.
I move the heavy,
lift the things…
put stuff
in the places
that stuff
goes.
I cannot
take it off.
I am the operator
and I am trapped
inside.
I sit
at the controls;
a weak
and tiny,
puppet-master.
Some day
the mech will fail,
collapse to the ground,
and stunned onlookers
will paw
at the latches
and straps
and expose
my frail and dying
self:
“Why, he’s so small!
Just a wizened figure
gripping a felt-tipped pen….”
A sheaf of unread papers
will cascade
from my weakened grasp
and drift away.
“Who will move
the things
and lift the load
now?”
Then they wander
away.