bled out

the world will wound you somewhere,
a bullet in the thorax or
steel jaws smiling around your shin – Yes,
the world will wound you somehow,
the world will watch and wait for signs of
a wither or a wilt,
blood in the snow or
a limp in your gait, yes,
the world will watch and wait,
while you worry yourself wretched,
Oh, have I wasted another winter?
Oh, will I win at this pace?
while the world watches,
wondering at your wounds


I am young, it is dark,
and my teeth are not so sharp,
I have thoughts,
bordering on dreams,
of the day when I will grow
new, tall, solid steel,
thinking of men in that childish way –
unfeeling skyscrapers,
craggy cliffs climbing above the waves –
and I have dreams bordering on belief,
that my blood, flesh, the meat of me,
will boil up and all the old bones
will float out to be
hidden under pillows,
replaced by quarters and dimes,
nickels and nightmare

The Hired Hand of Justice

And I know what you know, kid:
three-fifty a week ain’t worth dying over,
and if Justice needs a helping hand, hell,
she should put in a worthy bid
like everyone else.

So let’s you and me just ease down the pistols, kid,
we can talk numbers just fine,
three-fifty-seven, magnum, faster ‘an a whip, hell,
I’ll buy yer’ dinner, and a lil’ something
extra for your time.

And I know, I know, I’m a bad man, kid,
for shooting the man who shot my brother,
now, granted,
my brother shot his wife, hell,
and plenty of other folks, but listen, kid,
if I shoot you dead, or –
Hell, if I shoot you in the leg and the sawbones
saws through the scraps of remnant –
Is it gonna be worth that three-fifty a week?

So let’s just slide these pistols down, kid,
real slow-like, and don’t make any fast mov-