The Temps

And we’d sit at

Desks or hover about

In warehouses for

A limited time only


Temp workers

Temp walkers

In time, in step

Within the tempo

Always hoping for the

Upswing into the

Fullness of time and

Persimmon freshness of

A personalized timecard


And I’d gather with the

Blacks, browns, whites

With the eyes of a late

Night flight


Trying to hustle

Some extra



It seemed a lot of

The Filipinos had full

Time jobs, mostly at

The post office


And I sat with them

At 11pm stuffing envelopes

While on the lookout for

Inequality control


They were

Making extra

Money for


Mortgage payments

Dental payments

Rental payments

Tuition and the extras

That rose in the light

Of intuition


And the

Temps were



And we’d sit in

The break room waiting

For our food to heat

In the microwave


And our temporary/

Permanent/part time/full

Time dreams would erupt

And interrupt the temporary



Pop, snap, slap

Hiss, bubble

Smoke, tear


And it came out

Of the microwave


That good food,

Adobo, pancit, fish

Rice—all the stuff that

Would stink up that

Place  where the temps gathered


That smell

Brought us





© 2016 Tony Robles


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