Not alone, I am married to the revolution
we just have this schedule conflict
affection passes in a brilliant flash, a match struck in a power outage
while loneliness yawns and calls me back to bed
my official title is Steward, since I don’t just wash dishes
in this spirit I address the janitors as sanitation commandos
ils ne comprennent pas
my giant metal baby caught lime disease
curled up in the womb of the industrial dishwasher
scraping inelegantly like a back alley butcher
sous chef complains about Lamaze class with the girlfriend
how old would my kids be now?
I do not wish to remember anymore, this must be burnt out
slam me through the scalding love of the machine
where did I learn that pain is the cleanser?
my past intrudes upon my present cajoling me for something
no one else remembers
pushing me out, making me worry and worry and worry
I am a satellite with a misfiring thruster spinning out into the void
the universe, I find, is a sentient being that delights in making us eat our words
work steadies me
after mopping I stand in the doorway, chin on the pommel
onion skin penumbras of my co-workers re-enact snippets of the day
empty workplace like a cathedral after mass
where echoes of holiness resound
Gabriel Jarman is a largely unpublished author who was born in Victoria, B.C. grew up in Fredericton, N.B. and now lives in Montreal, QC.
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