The boy on a bicycle begs for change
to buy a hamburger. A hooked knife means
the hunting season was good; a trail of blood
leads to your front door.

His mother collects the change
and sends him out again. Razor blades
mean a furnace of hands built your house;
Every sheet of drywall remembers
when it was cut.

From a distance, you try
to finesse the truth. Your steak knife means
you can afford thought; you think,
The hesitant way love approaches
your hand. The sun’s heat severs

your comfort. You leave.
The “K” in knife means a silent killing;
you can’t recall the sound of sliced meat.
You tell yourself they bought hamburgers.
A dull edge means it’s tired of killing;
you hand out all of your change.

Listen to this poem: