Head Above Water Blues
Last year I earned fifty dollars
too much for earned income credit.
Three fourths of day’s work put me
over the poverty line, so says the taxman.
This isn’t what getting over supposed
to look like. Two grand would’ve
came back to me if I just slept
in when they called a substitute teacher.
Those kids chasing Monarchs to the milk-
weed, counting the days of molting,
crossing off each lifecycle—this easily worth
almost any day in my life. That day didn’t
fill up my egg crate with yokes, or pay
off the poor man’s thirst for the spirits,
the ones, and the zeros that wet bankers lips.