by Kevin O’Connor

The pay is horrendous, and the humongous
chunk of time it will take of your life is daunting,

but you can fix coffee and croissants for the proletariat,
swap tires for the elderly, sling fries to the disenchanted, 

even wax wizard-like in the halls of academe
on constructs, abstractions. Inside you’ll wither like Job, 

soar like Noah, with blackened wings, 
pale with knowledge, railing against phantoms,

serpents, lassitude, the hazardous bourgeois infatuation
with smoke and mirrors, insensate.

You’ll be a component, consciousness,
the existential nausea required to lug leaky trash,

scrape paint from bones, make friends
with ghosts. You’ll bloom, fatten on goat cheese

and mead, while elders wilt in self-negation,
conjoined by doubt, summoning the invisible hand

of a dead market, Prospero lying in an open grave,
though he won’t appear any more than relief,

the taste of water in the underworld, roiling sea of flame,
lure of the daring, the assured, and the dispossessed. 

About the Author

Kevin J.B. O’Connor received his MFA from Old Dominion University and an MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in English at University of Kentucky. He lives in Lexington, KY.