this job has us in its mouth and is shaking us about in its teeth by Martin Hayes

as we stumble from one bill to the next
just about managing to keep food on the table
and a roof over our heads
apart from the last week that is
because that’s when we have to start with the lies
the borrowing
the asking of favours
that all put together
hopefully will produce just enough
to get us over the line
and into the next month

this job has us in its mouth and is shaking us about in its teeth
as we stumble from one hangover to the next
trying to balance the drinking so that it has as little effect as possible
on the job
the woman
the kids
and our hearts
that seem to want to just pump their way out of our chests
as our minds can’t face anything else
other than another drink
another taste
of that freedom

this job has us in its mouth and is shaking us about in its teeth
as debt runs through us like streams of poison
debt: who takes us for walks in the park never letting go of our hand
debt: who always sits next to us on the bus even though it’s half empty
debt: who just wants more company
who just wants more attention
and more debt
on offer like a can of Coke
on offer
for us to slip our wrists into

this job has us in its mouth and is shaking us about in its teeth
as only our guts allow us to hold on;
those guts
that pull us up off the floor
that make us feel strong
and unbeatable
that we carry around with us
inside our stomachs
and our fingertips
that make us laugh
and feel lucky hold
glasses of wine and beer in our hands dance
with our women and children around in circles
as we all throw our heads up in the air
see
the entire Universe up there
on our side
with the sea and the stars in our eyes
and that unbeatable laughter
to prove it

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