Ben Mirov


It's freezing in here. The guy in the ski mask to my right is dead, I think. I jab him in the ribs. He's only sleeping. Get the hammer, I tell him. He throws me a salute, like I'm in command or something. He goes over, gets the hammer, more like a sledgehammer really, and hands it to me. It feels good to hold in my hand. I sit for minute and feel the weight of the hammer. Then I stand up and start working on the big support in the middle. I whack away for a minute or two and no one does anything. Then, after a few minutes more, they begin to shout. They like what they see. They want me to try harder, try more. I hit the support again and the shelter shudders a little. I can tell something is happening, finally. I swing the hammer again and again. It's definitely starting to buckle, now. I'm about to swing again when Dad comes downstairs. He's sweating all over the place and gnawing on a bone. You’re fired, he says, and stomps back upstairs. I feel so ashamed. It's totally quiet. No one says anything.

Ben Mirov lives in Brooklyn, New York. His chapbook I is to Vorticism is forthcoming in 2010 from New Michigan Press. He is editor of pax americana ( He is also poetry editor of LIT Magazine. Sometimes he blogs at

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