after a couple of days
of the rain coming down in sheets
we’d head back out to the build site
on a merely drizzly November morning
to collect the scrap—
pieces of shingles and two-by-fours
cardboard boxes and insulation
and even beer cans scattered everywhere
as though by Job’s whirlwind

best were the mountains of wet sheetrock—
each piece crumbling in your hands
as you tossed it into the dump bed

we trudged heads down in silence
under those dreary skies
gathering it all with our frozen fingers
ten pounds of Missouri mud
stuck to each boot
and after the last dump run
we’d hit the bar
to drink the day and thoughts of
a thousand tomorrows
just like it
into a deep and watery

Brian Rihlmann lives and writes in Reno, Nevada. His work has appeared in many magazines, including The Rye Whiskey Review, Fearless, Heroin Love Songs, Chiron Review and The Main Street Rag. His latest poetry collection, Night At My Throat (2020), was published by Pony One Dog Press.

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