the boys are building the
new building
mixing concrete in the morning cold
when I step out for
a smoke
wearing their “big dog” t-shirts
and covered in dust and suddenly
I can’t bitch about being
up this early in the
watching them shout and
shuffle in their flannel,
their hardhats and hammers
their long drunk nights
and concrete cold days
smoking their Pall Malls
with a lunch pail in
their laps

These boys will never
congratulate me on a good
read. I will never know
how to run a Bobcat 750 front loader
or the proper ratios of
sand to lyme to water.

We fit our respective
stereotypes like tailored
suits, tossing glances across
the street in a silent sports match-
Your Life versus My Life

Like catch with dad
in the backyard age 10
breath hanging in front our faces
the ball smacking mits regular time
throwing harder and harder, our hard unbroken stares and the sting on your palm
knowing he will always throw harder than I can-
What I Am versus What I Want You to Be

The glances of these men across the street
will always be harder than mine
so I rush my cigarette
stuff it into the tray
and shuffle inside
I could never understand them
I know its all relative, when I assume to know what they think
but I suppose that’s a terribly “art school”
thing to say


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