Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How I Relate to Slave Labor

I walked into the M.T. Cup

(where the coffee’s not great but

at least Myles hires cute girls

for minimum wage

to work behind the counter)

with an Indianapolis Star

in my right hand

and the idea of a drink on my mind.

“Black coffee please.”

Because that’s what great poets do

as they read the daily news

as if to taste the pain of the world


the plain color of a plastic lid.

With my idea in my hand

and the paper on my mind,

I paid the cute girl with a tip,

left her with a smile,

and made my way outside

to where the people sat around black circles

and discussed grey topics

as the insides of their cups

began to show their true colors.

While I

made my way

to a spot below shade

and set down my black pack

that reminds me of a book bag

that I once had when I was seven years old

that read:

“Made in China”

on the front pocket

below the emblem of

my favorite basketball team.

I remember asking my mom

“Why was this made by Chinese

if they didn’t speak English?

if they don’t know who the Chicago Bulls


And if they’ve never seen Michael Jordan

play ball before?”

Answering my own question

before she had the chance to explain

I came

to the conclusion

that it must have been a mistake.

So they donated it to America.

Knowing a little more on the topic


but thinking about it a little less,

I took a seat at the table

and a sip from my drink.

It was warm outside that day.

So I, removed my Nike cap

that was Made in China.

Unzipped my Columbia fleece

Made in China

Exposing my gray J. Crew T

Made in China

And tugged at the legs of my jeans

Made in China

Adjusted the shades on my face

Made in China

And leaned back,

and propped up on the table

my red, white, but mostly blue


that were Made in China.

And I thought about how comfortable

I was

as I read those censored stories

about the poor

and about the raped

and about the abused.

And I sipped from my black coffee

as if I could taste the pain of the world


the plain color of a plastic lid.

-Luke Boggess

1 comment:

Mo Phill said...

I remember watching Luke as he read this, and never feeling the same about MT cup.