I work for a living

following in the family’s footsteps

eight hours inside and yearn for

an hour-long lunch outdoors

in the watery spring sun

I come from


white bread

white middle class

and you’d think we would

have adapted to it by now, like blind

cave fish or albino moths turning soot-colored

after enough offices occupied

grants written, students taught

we got years of chalk-dust on our fingers

got glasses on our brown-noses




what we wear, how we speak

these are the indicators of our labor now

not bricks laid, acres cleared

hours punched on the clock


I work for a living

sliding sleepy from one end of

a silver thread and back again

ten times a week

dormant, a paperdoll commuter

dusty folded limbs remembering

as if in dream

what earth felt like against bare heels

free from professional footwear

backbones remembering soreness not

from non-ergonomic chairs

but from swinging



children onto hips

remembering necks loose from collars

white blue or pink

wages earned in sweat

and breaths

back when work meant making

meant something worth doing