Bleeding Kansas

Amputation. Laceration.

Scissors to safety nets.

Hedge funds hedge bets.

Your turn for the tourniquet.

Foot the bill. Cost of doing business.

Country justice. Country medicine.

This little piggy went to market. All’s

Lasseiz-faire when you’re taxing the polls.

Safety in preventing numbers

From interfering with the numbers game.

Tangerine sunset or rather blood orange.

Harvest unwanted. Phantom limb soon to haunt your days.

Prices eventually skyrocket. Arm and a leg.

Phrases tossed around casually like the detritus

of a civil war surgical station in the stink of battle.

Ax to grind. Solder and cauterize.

Deep cuts. Tightened belts.

When the smoke clears will the smell?

poetry published in Sunflower Sutras special edition marking the 14th Annual Aaron Douglas Art Fair. summer 2019.

Cover by Tara Bartley