Smoke Break with the J & R Roofing Co.Clay Matthews
A turning of the screw and across the plywood I splay myself where the sun walks down and lays her head on my shoulder. Yes, I’m imagining origin in the feminine. But it gets lonely on the rooftop and so why not love the reflection in the tar bucket as if it were my own, or better yet, the face of some girl in the window of a pick-up passing by. Three out of four times when I look at a stranger I imagine one of my lives in an alternate reality, where I work in a sweater factory and steal wool, and at night we eat popcorn, watch old movies, and knit ourselves together in an ever-expanding white blanket. Three out of four times I look at the sun head on I see spots in the distance, and once followed them until I blinked again and they had disappeared, and I was under an overpass with a terrible cough and roof shingle in my hand. Labor makes the soul ache, and it’s the aching that keeps me moving. Once when the aching was gone I felt a pang in its absence. And so black tar. And so mop buckets. In a day, a skeleton. In a week, shelter. A roof for somebody to call their own. Something held tight over their heads as one day they’ll open a window and look out, and feel strange and comfortable in this the life they dare not call their own.
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