I worked after school and over Christmas
and during the summer, all sorts of shitty jobs,
washing dishes, unloading semi-trailers,
alphabetizing files in an office, driving a taxi,
once even clearing a field for an old farmer
who stared skeptically at my shoulder-length hair,
the sun a torturer’s cigarette being ground out
on my back as I hacked at weeds with a sickle
and no bugs or birds sang but all around me
and seemingly forever the very air itself blazed.
Howie Good is author of Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.