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While working my routine at Amazon
picking the same items I always have before
I was trans shipped to trans ship
filling me with anxiety
understanding unfamiliarity
nerve racked novice
sweat trickles down my face
soaking into my PPE.

Two man crew I'm meant to join
black guys wearing reflective vests
"I'm here to help, can you help me?"
blank stare foreground
empty workload background
perplexed aesthetic
French accented walls muffle communication
I form a reluctant alliance with repetition
yet my counterpart understands everything I say.

Their patience eases my troubled mind
when my capability falls short of my enthusiasm
hand gestures guide me free of frustration
I stay silent, only saying
"I'd talk more but I figure it'd be a hassle"
my learning ambassador understands
but his extra steps start a conversation
creating comforting small-talk acclimating aliens.

Sydna and Josue from Ivory Coast and Congo respectively
and respectful was all I wanted to be
yet I got the impression Josue was uncomfortable
after I had brought up gold, diamonds, and oil
but Sydna had taken control of the conversation
telling me all about the lottery he won to be here
I wondered what lottery's prize was living in Cincinnati
to work a factory job in Hebron.

We work bundling totes together
printing confusing and mysterious tags
reading ACY, CMH, SDF, JFK, or CSG
these bundles will be leaving CVG eventually
carried away on skids
to their indifferent destination
of the same capitalist company
just at another fulfillment center.

I guess I should be more grateful
to be in the poor nation of transportation
but I'm not—I'd rather be picking
where I can communicate with compatriots freely
but I'm far away from the south mod now
near the north side red tag area talking to strangers
it's just a shame
because there's plenty of material where I came from
but transitory shipment is where the work is.
Andrew Rueter Jun 20
Do I want to see the forest through the trees
if that also means the hornets in between?
There's a comfort trail of nothingness
leading beyond the sun setting west
towards a dark abyss looming
my friends try to soothe me
by saying it'll be like before I was born
but at that point my life ****** even more
so the vastness of the universe
reminds me that my bullet hearse
isn't blessed or cursed
it'll just disperse
like the tears on the face of my clock
coming from the face I show not
a shocked ant on a spinning rock
with vertigo fearing it'll fall off
knowing once the spinning stops
there's a darkness block
with nothing to be bought
or sold
not even gold
can reverse getting old
so I don't want to see the forest
and I'll hide behind the trees
getting lower on my knees
praying God help me please
because I fear that final release.
Andrew Rueter Jun 17
I wish I could take everything true about the world
and put that into a gun to shoot into the youth of America
but I guess they're already receiving a satisfactory education
when normal bullets teach us all we really need to know.
When I stay inside I stare at the ceiling
when I go outside I stare at the sky.
When you said your love couldn't be purchased
I didn't think you meant it was worthless
but after examining all of what I thought vs. what I got
you made funeral parlors out of churches
I misunderstood when you said you'd give me big top
I didn't think you meant the circus.
There’s an online article with a bullet point of cities
• to which the bullet pointed
underneath those cities is a bullet point of schools
• to which the bullet pointed
underneath those schools is a bullet point of names
• to which the bullet pointed.

Underneath that article is a bullet point of comments
• from which bullets point
underneath those comments are bullet points of discourse
• from which bullets point
underneath that discourse lies our nature
• from which bullets point.
Andrew Rueter May 27
I don't need help changing my tire
I need your political support
to put out this fire
set by the angry mob of course
and there's no way I can force
you to see from the high horse
you gained from light chores
so keep your random acts of kindness
as long as you cure your blindness
I think we could find this
more profound niceness
embedded within the social construct
so kindness is required and not luck
because our intermittent charity
won't achieve economic parity
making our situation scarily
here to stay apparently
so don't tell me to be civil
from behind the American sigil
that sits on a swivel
with **** symbols
and those that swindle
a nation of marks
pushing shopping carts
in a lockstep art
dividing us from the heart
so even if you mow my yard
we'll still be miles apart
separated by a canyon of cordiality
that a river of oppression runs through
carrying away our ordeal reality
as fast as guns do
when they're held by the sightless
who convince themselves they're righteous
through random acts of kindness.
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