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.