Construction Site


I’m at this construction site
across the highway from the old library
in which I’ve been spending my time typing.

On days like today, when the words
stick to my fingers and my heart fires blanks,
I like to walk over here and people-watch. 

These workers are tough motherfuckers ––
12-hour shifts in 90 degrees, 
and I never see them breathe a single complaint.

I’m yards away and can practically smell their sweat.

What are they constructing? 
Some kind of building –– I don’t know.
I feel too self-conscious to ask. 

These are real men. I’m a bum.

So I sit on a bench and wonder, lost in 1-cent thoughts,
not even knowing what to call their machines ––
dump trucks? Bulldozers? Both? One of them is a crane, maybe.

I think about my wasted years of
trying to start a band,
trying to find my soulmate on the Internet,
trying to break the world record for
“most consecutive days spent in bed.”

Some people construct buildings. If I walk back to the library,
I could construct a few more mediocre/sad-sack poems.

The guy closest to me, only a few yards away, 
is digging at the ground
with a metal shovel that must weigh 10 million pounds.
He’s drenched in something that appears to be oil ––
dead, liquefied dinosaurs. He doesn’t notice. He’s too busy.
He doesn’t have time to notice insignificant things.

He doesn’t notice me.


B. Diehl Biography

May-June 2016 Issue, BOAAT