December 5, 2013

a pipeline runs
from Cushing, OK to the Texas
gulf coast, near Houston

men in frontwards caps
pull levers
and release valves,
spit out dinosaur bile

these are the blackest men
i have ever seen, though some of them
are white, hispanic. all of them

are cut-out. this is where all
the cowboy lean-to silhouettes
in the yards of houses

come to work

i have trouble telling
one from the other
or telling myself anything
that isn’t better said
by hitting
against metal

as men they are measured
in hammers swung. the amount of rust
made migratory glitter, or
any small fires put out

today, a woman
became president of General Motors
a man proved by dying

that dying cannot contain
having truly lived,
which i think is to work

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