Near the End of My Shift


Another night, walls cracked
by buoyant laughter,
and I’m sitting here

chewing spigots
with a cable car screeching
across my ribs like a feral owl.

I wonder – how much longer will it be
until I see the window decked

in fiery tresses? Can I stomach
another havoc? When am I finally
going to get out of this town?

I’m bumming lately, which I blame
on the weather
and a chemical irregularity.

Fornicating tubes of phospor
cut with pekoe and fortitude.

So far I’ve mastered the smile
that fades in the fumes,
strangled a halogen bulb,

and politicized the art of sleep.
In another hour or two,
these things won’t even matter.

But you need a few
miniscule triumphs every now and again.

Who knows, maybe one day
I’ll cripple my whole century
with the blast of a pen.

Maybe I’ll get to Japan
and wear a mouth of neon teeth.
Maybe I’ll solve the riddle of beauty.

Maybe one day somebody
will really think about me.

-r. miller


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