Building B Boiler
In my sparse apartment
I’m snoozin’ on the airbed.
The janitor wakes me with a knock,
Hey Mac, could ya give me a hand here?
I stumble over to the leaky boiler
pulling on my cowboy boots.
After the janitor shows me how to turn off the boiler
we leap two feet across concrete
dodging a busted pipe spraying hot water
Holes in the house —
a maintenance guy
one of the many
aims his hammer on yellow siding.
He pivots to reach a leak from outside
knocking gaps in low-income
where is the best opening we try for?
nowhere at all.
A nail shatters through to the shower stall.
Running inside, I slip on wet tiles
white like the Milky Way
Smooth as a ghost I glide
Landing on my ass
jarring my teeth
Who the hell am I?
a phantom of myself?
Some devious trick
drives us to try harder than what is good for us.
We know this yet we’re drawn to do it.
I meet the ringing of my cell phone.
"how to fix a class C boiler, Sir"
Midway in phone advice
the boiler man yells.
Racing over, I stop some leaks.
If puttin’ my finger in a metal hole would help
The siding man shouts for a hand.
(I hope I still have one)
We trace along the pipes,
chewin’ ham croissants
between pliers and wrenches.
An old dryer in Building B
screeches and rocks like a piston
No one in Building B
can do a thing about it
© Copyright Kathy Kopp 2008