worthy to be sung

by Levi Bentley



6 am sleepwalk tear-off leveraging toothed shovel to pull
steel nails into curves in short shrieks starting at the cap
peeling off rolled chunks into steel dumpsters bare wood

warm paneled framed with flashing snapped chalk lines
buttoned up asphalted felt tarred paper under three-tab in
fifty pound blocks of shingle up ladders over shoulder

cracking stiff in the cold morning thrown down along
the peak in stiff stacks in the noon sun slewing passive
limply heavy melting into droop and rip slow gumming

up slow laying down tarred asphalt building puzzles of
seams staggered by the gun each nail driven in percussive
gasps of composited wood’s chemical smell the deafening

compressor stammering to keep up pressure a nail in the
mouth wide round head shows up in a finished roof called
a shiner like a black eye it will leak later radio’s staticky

classic rock so loud no one talks grunting the choreography
kept up until lunch at two flecked with splinters debris streak
with tar reeking walking through safeway wolfing grocery

brand sandwich gas station coffee pee in the bushes foreman
drives formula one gunning the truck past policemen he knows
waving and talking shit about those honkers on that one then

back up the pitch till dark lost in the sway of labor-life and

wordless rage
making two dollars less than
I mean men



Levi Bentley is a 2019 Lambda Literary Fellow and 2017 Leeway Art and Change grantee. They live in Philadelphia where they design and coedit Asterion Projects with Ted Rees. They have released chapbooks through Lamehouse Press, Damask Press, and Well Greased Press. Their poems have appeared in Apiary, Bedfellows, BlazeVOX, Emerge: 2019 Lambda Fellows Anthology, We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics from Nightboat Books, and a variety of other venues.

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