If it were only that simple, as sound,
but the first cut always leaves
unworked. What language
fills greed’s bottomless gut,
the flesh that sells flesh,
cut away from the bone of debt? The language
of cutting is a subtle lexicon, always
sounds kinder, gentler, than the trill blade
under the tongue of our economy’s math. Soft, sayings
like human scale, like rightsizing,
like achieving efficiencies
hide the blade, hide the murder
that pen and protocol make, masked.
Copyright © 2016 Fred L. Joiner. This poem originally appeared in Delaware Poetry Review, Vol 8, No. 1. Used with permission of the author.
Fred L. Joiner
Fred L. Joiner received an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. He is the author of BLOOD / SOUND, forthcoming in 2019 from Central Square Press. In 2019, Joiner was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. He is the co-founder of The Center for Poetic Thought in Washington, D.C. and currently serves as the poet laureate of the Town of Carrboro, North Carolina.
Date Published: 2016-03-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/austerity-0