Work

If work is not beautiful,

then I am not beautiful,

and I was never beautiful

in all those heaving hours.

 

And this home

was never beautiful,

nor any of its furnitures.

 

Not a bite we cooked here.

Not the laughter in the ducts.

 

And if work is not beautiful,

then a debt is just a promise

to be kept or maybe not.

 

And the having, after all,

is just a lullaby of having.

 

And if work is not beautiful,

then what dark matter

is absent in our stillness?

 

For even in my sleep,

I sense that I am ugly.

 

Even in my sleep,

I know to be ashamed.

This poem was originally published in Issue 35 of Copper Nickel.