Factory Friend

we live the same lives
one limestone the other

the mountain gray clocks
hold hands in concentric

routines using boxcutters
to slash tape off freights

of textbooks the insular
world blurs platitudes

won’t make the day run
faster as the forklift as

convertible into stacks
of cardboard papercuts

eats away at my flesh
you lend me an apple

in leather gloves lunch
for the weary cores of

a warehouse we drive
away to separate lives

(originally published in Otoliths, Spring 2020)

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