Office Job (August 18, 2017)

the cat purrs, content
on his own, clawing my blanket
that rests peacefully and soft.

meanwhile, I entertain fantasies
about quitting my job again–
every day, the drab walls

say nothing to me.
the squeaky chair says
too much. another paycheck

arrives, not enough to sustain
me past the day’s bills. I work
for the grim reaper, ghastly

and gray, worm-smile rotting.
there is a scythe to my head
when I sleep that I set the night

before but I can’t even sleep
long enough to meet it.
the cockroaches share my bed,

and I know they will make it
out of this alive, whether
nuclear war or work.

 

(originally published in EgoPHobia, Winter 2018)

Lethargy

A butterknife has potential.
Voila! Cream cheese

on an everything
bagel.

The microwave beeps.
The ceiling fan spins.

Onions brown
at the bottom of the fridge.

Throw out the bag.
Then throw out that bag.

Swiffer shoeprints
off the floor.

Take your shoes off
next time.

Catch the mouse before
it multiplies

though you know
that means to snap

its neck.
So don’t.

Summon all the light
you can.

 

(originally published in DMQ Review, Summer 2017; featured later as a Verse Daily “Web Weekly Feature” the week of July 24, 2017)