Division of Labor

It has been decided that I will be
the one who wakes up before 8am
to go to the office job, and you will be
the one who wakes up around 2pm
to sling beers at your bar.

This works well for us as I love
the taste of coffee and you can
tolerate drunks. We both will be
the ones to hustle our poetry,
spliting our throats raw, lugging
our unsold books home, hopeful.

At the end of the week, we pile
our money together. We treat it
like sleeping pigeons. Knowing
how quickly it can take off
when scared. We are doing

alright, better than alright probably,
yet sometimes I stare hard at my plate,
on the new comforter on a friend's bed,
at their golden happy sunny tans,
their lucky dogs, their cats who
eat organic food.

Sometimes I want to tattoo
I'm going to be poor forever
over my slumped shoulders,
as I flop home in my broken-soled
shoes, fingers tugging at threads.

My lover laughs though, and so
do I, I guess. Yes, yes. Sometimes
we still cook popcorn for dinner.
We like to walk there if we can.
We aren't ones to leave a penny
lying in the street like a hit and run,
like a damaged stray.

But we are good tippers, we are
good lovers, we are good laughers
and we still write.

Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz is an NYC-based poet and writer. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in McSweeney's Internet
Tendancies, Barrelhouse, Pank, Umbrella, and The Other Journal, among others. Her latest book, "Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour
Through  Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam," was published last year by Soft Skull Press. For more information, please visit
her website at:


Copyright 2009