Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Phoenix Issue, No. 16, Winter 2008
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TOM HAUSHALTER

Dodge City

Tight as a dead hound’s trap, his blue jeans pocket
hard to turn inside-out: a hand’s hot-afternoon
trawling deep for change. Lint, a laundered bar receipt,
some void tobacco coupon also netted
in the dredge, are shed. Separating seven nickels

from six dimes, from them a lone black-lacquered
penny, none else, just shy, here before the Coke machine
on Market Street, a man is estimated: mere muscle
and staid opinion, place-holder and registered voter,
wad of unwitnessed rage, foundering sun.