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The Last Word

By Malo Basich

Day before payday,
at lunch in the break room,
the usual pre-payday scene:
lingering over egg sandwiches
and cold Beanie-Weenies
right out of the can,
joking and bitching about
how broke and poor
we were. “The cable company
can kiss my ass this week,
I gotta keep the lights
and water on.” “Can’t wait
to drink real milk again—-
you ever taste that powdered
crap?” “Hell, I been drinking
Kessler’s instead of Jack
all week.”

Then old Weird John,
who never spoke up much,
said, “Boys, I’m so poor,
I been jacking off the dog
just to feed the cat.”
And that was pretty much
the end of that particular
lunchtime topic.

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