January 1998 / Volume One / Issue One
Matt Boettner
(The following poems were originally collected under the title
     GREEN WITH DEBT AND MACHINE OIL GLAZE
FIGHTER

I stand at the line working,
conscious of all the bolts and oil,
all the nuts under my feet,
the foreman looking over my shoulder
and how very much my hands hurt.

Something comes down the line to me.
I work it
enhance it
then pass it on and wait
for the next one, maybe 30 seconds.

The foreman moves to the other side
and still looks on.
Suddenly, the bell rings.
I toss in the rags,
throw off the gloves
cut the tape from off my fingers
and punch the clock.
I see the foreman see me.
He will see me tomorrow
and he knows it
and will watch my fingers bleed
again.
I owe.
I know.
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