Pocket Change



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:


About Author

David Campos, a CantoMundo fellow, is the author of Furious Dusk (Notre Dame Press 2015), winner of the Andres Monotya Poetry Prize.  His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Luna Luna, Boxcar, and Queen Mobs Teahouse among many others. He teaches English at Fresno City College and College of the Sequoias. 

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