A middleman is suing
our chain for cutting
them out and customers
want to know more
but not about
the hundred foot oven
that on occasion
by somebody whose job
is worse than mine
has to be spit-shine
cleaned of peanut butter,
and for what?
So you can eat a snack
that sometimes explodes
during its manufacture?

Ashley wonders if we also
ever find a word
really weird for no reason,
like ‘fork,’ yesterday
she couldn’t get over
how weird ‘fork’ is,
and today it seems okay
on perfunctory inspection.
Whale-road means ocean,
of course, and sea-horse,
ship, but the word ‘kenning’
is only two hundred years
English. It seems strange
that something as simple
not as a fork but ‘fork’
has the capacity
to inspire wonder.
I’ll never get to clean
that giant oven or walk
the tops of warehouse
rows and am humbled

by the many aspects
and manifestations
within the word
its limitless forward
movement in space
and instant. ‘Time,’
long related to ‘tide,’
coming in and going
out, rising and falling,
willed by the moon’s
changing position,
an idea that once
seemed so amazing
we needed words
to explain it
now we don’t
think of as invented.


Joshua Gottlieb-Miller



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