by a contributor

Justin Runge

Good morning debris, yawping power generator, steel toe and tack, shingles chiming, light rock radio. We will rise to your thuds if they patter like limerick at our door—otherwise, we’ll stay swaddled, our cat in the box springs below.

Your ruckus enhances when we press our ears to the mattress, ambience like houseflies in our cupped hands. Standing still even fills the vacancy, pneumatic nail guns popping toward our heads, noon patinated in smoke, yesterday still a plaque on our teeth.

But if we add a running sink to this rattle, the day has won; we become percussionists in it, have to know its song, meet the men our landlord has laddered up to our roof. Instead, we’ll spend the day watching slate like snowflakes blanket our lawn to the par-rum-pa-pum-pummeling of bootfeet.

Justin Runge lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where he serves as poetry editor of Parcel. He is the author of two chapbooks, Plainsight (New Michigan Press, 2012) and Hum Decode (Greying Ghost Press, 2014). Recipient of a 2014 Langston Hughes Award, Runge has published in Best New Poets 2013, Linebreak, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. He can be found at

See Justin’s list of 5 Things tomorrow in our ongoing contributors’ series.