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by Glen Armstrong

The rich sit in saunas. The rest of us work outdoors. Though the actual sweat is not exactly a commodity, the act of sweating, or more precisely the circumstance of sweating, is. Pores open, and the thick smell of success fills the air.

I worked in a shop when I was younger, cutting long bars of steel into clamps for carbide cutters. I was paid by the hour, and the sweat was incidental.

Bodies pass through portals, turnstiles and velvet ropes. They enter airplanes and sanctuaries where they are taught that Heaven is a gated community. All the while little round doors open in the skin. We travel some of the passage, and some of the passage is us.


Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has two current books of poems: Invisible Histories and The New Vaudeville. His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit, and Cream City Review.