Night Shift poem by Helen Bach


4 a.m. here
3 a.m. gone
working like a dog
do dogs work?
puma sleeps
big bird wakes
creosote what
‘s goin’ down?
bay leaf in the stew
chocking down
born crying
die laughing
why am i
still coughing?

white man emails me
“All Muslims are violent.”
beaked bird responds
“All white men are KKK.”
white man sends a blank email

saving Grace
big bird signals puma in his sleep
to be reminded of his knowing:
all blood runs red
it is the skin
we have superficially endowed.


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