The good-looking one, the one in need, the one that almost was
Subscribe and Save up to 55%
We’re janitors, but we’re called floor-crew technicians.
We work at night.
Darius lives in a trailer with his dad
because his dad has cirrhosis and emphysema.
His dad still drinks
and he’s drunk antifreeze
more than once. On his breaks Darius
can’t stand still: he rocks on his feet,
looks to the sky for shooting stars,
and throws lit cigarettes into trash cans.
Supervisor Mike, sixty, has had three heart attacks
and got his ass beat yesterday
while walking his dog.
Three college kids jumped him
and he awoke to his dog
lapping his blood.
Ron is going to prison
for manslaughter. Drove drunk
and his best friend flew through the windshield.
One of us, a giant we’ve nicknamed
Big Foot the Bearded,
works the graveyard shift
in a factory of soot
and when I bring up the guy he used to work with,
tears fall down his face.
Manuel’s baby died.
All of this seems unbelievable
even to me, but it’s the truth.
Sometimes the last thing you need
is to talk about the news.
There is an order in which I read your magazine: Contributors, Correspondence, Readers Write, short stories, poetry, the interview, and finally Sunbeams. But in your February 2018 issue I got stuck on Mathias Nelson’s contributor’s note and had to read his poem “The People I Work with Don’t Talk about Trump” first. His words struck me as absolute truth. I don’t even like poetry, but I’m buying his book.