This ash-colored immigrant come
to steal an honest man’s job —
give him the business, why don’t you.
Let every slack muscle learn
what real work feels like,
how it aches & bruises.
Then let him go swimming
with a cast-iron kettle around his neck.
The sanitarium should’ve known better,
trying to hire orderlies from outside.
We’re hungry here.
The sun itself only gets in
a few licks each day,
& the sea eats like a drunk —
a nibble here & a nibble there
to steady itself against the shore.
We’ve all been tenderized.
We marinate in the tall salt cellars —
the rapeseed oil cans —
the cold ovens of our houses,
watch the flickering pilot light
in the corner of the room
& dream of an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Let us pray for the firm
flesh of angels, white,
with eyes that can sprout,
that can finger, that can shove
green fists through the dirt.
Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).