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[Why I Want To Be a Firefighter]

Tim Staley

  Yesterday I stopped liking writing poems,
seven hundred some poems and they all have problems.
She says, I don’t like this part, she says,
I’m not buying this hillbilly stuff yet,
as though she might if I sold it hard enough
and what is the poet’s quota?
How much does the reader really have to buy?
And they better not get bored. That’s why I want to be a
firefighter: their customers are never bored.
Even if it’s just rescuing a cat from a tree
there’s going to be a hot neighborhood chick watching
and the cat’s owner later that night will be telling
her sister in the suburbs of Atlanta that this fireman
had the hottest ass in those fire-pants and she’ll
not even really be listening because she’s watching TV,
cooking dinner, and “reading” her husband’s latest poem
that he’s spent 15 years on and she doesn’t get,
and, I didn’t think firemen got cats out of trees anymore,
and the poet says from the other room, that’s a metaphor,
and the lady on the phone says, oh yes, oh yes they do.
  Tim Staley was born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1975. He lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Poems from a manuscript in progress have appeared in Chiron Review, Circumference, Coe Review, and Rhino.
2010 Volume 1 Issue 2