We are aluminum retirement apples and trophy bucks. Timmy the Tooth says, “L&I is watching.” My shadow is an automated nightmare. Knotted fruit trees twisting like mangled fingers. Slice a healthy pear open down its fleshy center. What are your sentences in the past tense running from? Don’t pretend this resembles your heart or lungs. We used to work like chained up dogs the moon glowed. The sun doubles as a parole officer. I forgot precisely what I was pretending to forget. Lungs that resemble fruit can collapse like wings. The sky is a flowering burn barrel. Smokestacks gasp for air every time I cough. Circling the flames, our ghost children keep watch.
Zachary Eddy is a former aluminum worker. His work has been published in High Desert Journal, The Comet Magazine, Terrain.org, and elsewhere. His poem Before the Closure, Before I Quit was nominated for the 2021 Best of the Net anthology. He teaches English composition at Wenatchee Valley College.