the ship feels different down here
no windows, stale air,
heat from the engines,
the stink of men who bathed
three months ago

we’ve not seen the captain
since November
reckon Thanksgiving and Christmas have long passed,
by now–who knows?

hard to remember fresh air,
blue skies, wind,
the sound of birds,
clean skin, food that is not
spoiled, laughter

truth is the assholes above us–
we hold their lives in our hands, 
but they don’t give a fuck about us
on the lower decks

most of us, covered in burns,
mostly deaf from the machines,
eyes red and burning,
clinging to some woman we knew once,
long gone from everywhere
but our brains

not sure we’re human anymore
feel more like a part of the machine,
each of us a single cog, not worth
a halfpenny

i had a dog, once–
and a home with windows
and a wife
one day, in a foul mood, 
i kicked that dog
the look he gave me–
weak, defeated

that’s me now