1. The First Day


Cubette manacled, beslacked

and boringbuttoned to the neck,

flogging freeways towards debtless hope –

I’ll be cubed like cheap ham at a salad bar,

smiling behind circuited gallows,

noose in a half Windsor,

not without doldrumming dress heels

typing into sterile carpentry.

Hairsprayed stare to spread bullshit like butter,

one foot on the bottom rung,

the other in quicksand security,

I folded like a clothrusted hide-a-bed

forgotten under days


2. Co-workers


Poloshirted, hunching

future quasimodos, pocket change tolling

in vending machine spires,

window-staring champions

tanning fluorescent, clockwatching

heartbeat swimming in coffee regimen,

keyboard galloping in protocol to ratatat ringtones –

the break room oasis warmed by

that sweet droning, the choral hum

of iridescent glucose


3. Medication


and I dream of weekends like I dreamt

of middle school crushes in math class –

blessed by hallowed Friday night,

whiskey caress reaches till Sunday,

inviting Mondaybound hangovers, with

docile lights roaring between the calm

slaps of lukewarm caffeine and the

respiratory embrace of nicotine;

I take my fifteen to paint porcelain

the colour of one-too-many and remember

I am 2,080 hours richer

than a life I might actually enjoy.


by Michael Harper


Michael Harper fled to Oregon right after getting a degree in English & Comparative Literature from one of those biggish schools in Southern California. His work has been featured in Dash Literary Journal, Hibbleton Independent, Lexicon Polaroid, New Verse News, Origami Condom, and Verdad. He now lives beneath your couch, hoping you won’t look under there too often. You can find more of him or ignore him at openmikeharper.com

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