swimming above
these fleas
at my feet,
if using my big toe
as a diving board,
and into the pool
of my skin looking
for free blood-
these backbiters,
let these little
annoyances in my door,
looking for an
overcoat to slumber
the night or month,
a rug in the corner
snug of warmth-

snoring below,
two fans blowing
three flies buzzing
in the basement
of summer mildew,
uncle stan sits,
out of a job
and still
able to afford beer
in his hand
help-wanted ads,
cigarette butts
stamped out
in a skull shaped
he always explains,
they are looking for
only experience,
a little something
to go along
with a degree
and I say why not
bluff them,
go to the library
study the subject
and bring it in
the interview,
do what you do
well, tell a
frost it white-
lay it out on the table
feed them baloney and

and I say that
even a dishwasher
knows no more
than soap and water,

sometimes he just
gets under my skin,
so much
I would like to kick
him out to the dogs.

Anthony Liccione lives in Texas. He was named Best New Poet of 2006 by Muses Review. His poetry has appeared in Underground Voices, Plum Ruby Review and The Pittsburg Quarterly, among others. His latest book Please Pass Me, the Blood & Butter is available at Lulu.com.