Jacob Sunderlin

It said Jericho on my checks
because the machine made us

deaf. A man who lives alone
needs a cat, Jericho

Sugar said, whose knives were always
sharper, whose Ford more jacked,

a veteran of many wives, the first
of two Iraqs, this the third of his

three jobs, third shift, which made it
holy, which meant we could nip

from the break bottle, kick a grit.
You got to clean up the shit

of something you love, Jericho.
Who decided who was what

I'll never know. I could change
my name, turn my liver

black. But when break is over,
I'm on the palletjack. Gary, one eternity

machine over, came to work so drunk
he messed his self, Sugar said,

then ate a tuna sandwich wrapped in
cellophane. I won't describe it

but to tell you how Wonder
Bread crumbs fell on the pallet,

not snow on some mountain,
not the ashes of some burning city

we'll never see. He
offered half that sandwich to me.