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A Short Shift with Hobbes at the Liquor Store 

Life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. —Hobbes

So I know this can't go on forever.

Jamming the sparse feather duster
between wines that ought to pay rent
beneath an overload of lights
and 18 cameras, I start a sweat.

I flip on the air conditioner.
Boss Man says, use it anytime but
if he stops in, always turns it off.

My sweat dries up and my nose curls.
The scent of dead mouse is really
blasting out of the vents today.

I go back to sweating.

I watch reality TV
More here than I did when I was
unemployed. I start to notice
the details of contestants' faces.

I flip back to weather.

I tell Boss Man we've got to start
a website. Maybe even an ad
in the penny saver. We're dying.

He declares client base must expand,
tells me, "Ignore the D.O.B.
If they want to wrap around trees
what business of it is ours,
so long as you don't give out a receipt?"

I'm back to the poorhouse.

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