9.3 / March 2014

Human Resources

What crude thing wells up in us
when called upon
will burn
black smoke out of the train
we stored away
all those years ago
buried with us
as we settled by the billions
at the bottom
of the barrels
by which we would one day
our excuse to look inward
to ask what am I really made of
what did I come down here for
if not to be presented with
everything I don’t need
right now
but may become important later on
what has been kept
long enough unused
to justify its termination
when it finally goes up one night
like gas flares
along the highway
out of town
just when you were sure
you were going to get away with it.

Eric Kocher is the director of HUB-BUB's Artist-in-Residence Program in Spartanburg, SC where he also teaches at Wofford College and USC Upstate. Some of his work has previously appeared in A Public Space, Better Magazine, Boston Review, Octopus, and elsewhere.
9.3 / March 2014