he ate his breakfast over an 18 year old drafting table covered in pistachio green linoleum

he liked whole wheat toast with black currant jam and cinnamon raisin bagels with honey

buttered with salted butter

and sometimes buttered crumbs would fall onto what he was drafting leaving stains on the vellum

fall onto the parallel bar getting brushed out if it’s crevices weeks later 

and what he drafted didn’t pay for the crumbs that fell onto what he drafted didn’t feed him no

he worked 50 or 60 hours a week doing something else to pay for what he ate over his table

for the crumbs that fell

and in the dark cold morning as he ate breakfast before heading to this work

he knew it didn’t matter to him whether it was a drafting table or a dining table

and come friday night of a 57 hour work week he would imagine

these buttered crumbs falling onto the diploma he earned and his resume

the stains of living as an independent man in America more real than any identity