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For People Who Work

2009 September 26
by Amy King

I’m sweating the outside of a soda can
and yogurt’s running down my leg.
Alan de Botton just told me the best way
to travel is to stare out train windows,
don’t even de-board, just be thought
in the half-face of a farmer pitching hay
or the child throwing a ball in the park
to no one, at least, a figure you can’t see
the way Charles Baudelaire
used to sit in airports, or so then wrote,
for hours with nowhere except in passing
to go. After jet fuel, for any reason today,
I keep bleeding through the bright holes in shadows
as if the other days didn’t count;
I’m not a showy person but gelling syrup star red
calls a kind of attention to how people often
mistake me for a desirable coat where
only a knit sweater could do the trick.
You know, it’s an education really at how
intensely persistent things fit
like we are this fruit shape or we taste
in five senses or the matter lies
in another material’s sentence we can’t describe
such as eternity’s organizing infrastructure
or how the cherry returns to the tree bud
after melting its tart skin on tongue.
I say these things to you, not because I’m forced
or informed but only to recall that
the best happens in sidewalk cracks
and by the rims of mud puddles. The sun comes out
during lunch, over siestas and cold beer it shines,
not during the office hours’ work day
that evaporates or in the face of a ticket we hold,
palm tight, but when the foot moves & mouth opens
just to enough to let the body’s earth enter
and pass in the small sweat of a sun cloud.


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