how work kills you

his smile rate dwindles to two per hour.
mouth like a hyphen, he won’t open his
lips to kiss me. he is like this sometimes:
a fruit fly drowning in peach juice, a bottle with a letter
that won’t bite. i try to entice him into leaving
teeth marks, something they will use as a match
for the dental records. he grabs my ass and nudges
me out the door.

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Johnson at State

escaping the office at
2 am my
hands bloodied with lipstick
i am relieved to
hit the sidewalks: kept free
of trash but cluttered with trashed
bodies

a two story urban utopia
cracks

a strawberry blonde with
little curls around her ears
throws her legs in front of her as
though hoping they’ll hit the ground,
her shirt cut nearly in half,
like the warmth of sugary Svedka suddenly made
her sexy in her skin,
her stomach stiff against the claws of october in the
midwest.

a shoe-less Latino man with
bags on his arms and
the rest of his belongings beneath his
eyes
shrieks in the street and
waves a hand that
seems to have forgotten some of its fingers.

the hunch backed man
inhabits his usual spot,
(one of the last remaining after the
city tried to bury the homeless still
mummified in their sleeping bags)
and reminds me
“the first joke is free,”

I wonder what he has
to
laugh about