I see the same labourers every morning on my way
to work, they use yellow gloves that remind me of something
other than yellow gloves. I want to say canaries,
but there is nothing sweet or wild about them.
I wear black and carry plates, glasses — full or blanked —
for most of the day. An occasional, strange hand placed on my hip,
the small of my back; their coins in my apron sing when I move.
I’m in love with the chef and his shapeless white coat
and he wonders how anyone could love him so, stained
stinking of grease. I will wonder these same things, but later.
Sometimes he wants to be a cowboy,
plunks his lucky boots from Vegas at the foot of my bed.
Nights alone, I sleep with a few of my father’s bones
in a matchbox under my pillow; wish on semi-precious stones;
keep miniature Buddhas, rowed and smiling.
There is nothing sweet or wild about them.