Poetry Feature: “The Hard Worker”

Nathan Waugh


The hard worker


start the experiment, wash glassware when done, don’t drop this one

all my concentration, all my focus is here, so single-minded me

ok now

step out of lab for just a minute

walk across the hall, four steps, that’s all

open the bathroom door

and go into the vacant stall farthest from the door

in the ventless mix of lab scents and sewer drain never cleaned

as quietly as you can                                                            (in case someone has to pee)

hunch into yourself as far as your self can hunch

cry what you haven’t been thinking onto tiles that have seen twelve thousand bleachings

watch water pellet from behind your sight like a classical perspective exercise

draw your straightest lines, and aim them as they land

you can hear them when they splash if it’s quiet          and you are alone

                                                                                           (which you are)

did you have any idea that a puddle this big could come from a face?


“oh hi

wow you’re always here

well have a good weekend!”

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