To the movers
paid in pizza

and sweating
in a darkening stairwell,

no moonlight sonata,
but a moon, of a kind, imposing

its shadowy grandeur and girth,
its unrelenting pull upon the earth

felt along make-do ropes, straps,
lines that quiver and work

deep into the flesh, deeper
groans, mother-of-gods, and another

concerted heave to surmount
a single step, this

slow inglorious agony
of ascension.

Mike White

MIKE WHITE is the author of How to Make a Bird with Two Hands (Word Works), which was awarded the 2011 Washington Prize. His poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry, Ploughshares, The New Republic, The Threepenny Review, and FIELD. Originally from Montreal, he now lives in Salt Lake City and teaches at the University of Utah.

Latest posts by Mike White (see all)