Today's poem is by Ken Taylor

trading aces & eights
        —for Paul Sobin

not wearing the white hat on this one;
the medicine says it'll stop the ringing
in my head, but the side effect is death.
no matter the move of brilliant corners
or sidemen at large in the territories: i'll
bleed out, the medicine says, if i ache
to end a bell jar insistence or the many
horn voices swinging outside saloon ten.

i parade a red patch & stamp tall. fast
draw packs vertigo & single action army.
length & shadow of duel stretch echoes
vegetation ceremonies: my horse's nose
en pointe. up-dose for the one, i reach
plunger mute too slow: ear on the tracks.

Copyright © 2012 Ken Taylor All rights reserved
from The Carolina Quarterly
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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