"Sever the Limb to Spare the Body"

Autopsy table space is always

at a premium in this town. Some guy

could be in the middle of a bowl

of pasta fagioli and bam, down he goes.

Not to mention tales—only told

in the police station when the night

watch is drunk—of families known

to eat their young. Discarded bones

wash up on the banks of the Housatonic

nine months later, are attributed

to mutant salmon. The coroner here

is an appointment for life, a status

reminiscent of pontiffs, hatchetmen.


Twist the weasel, wear your hair

wrapped in panda skin. Three ninja

appear at your door with a message.

Introduce themselves as Hiroyuki,

Kanazawa, and Marcus. The message

self-destructs, but by the time the ashes

hit the floor the four of you are off

to the city dump. Mutant salmon

can't swim that far upstream, bucko.

You take out your cell phone. Speed-dial

the coroner. You know he'll salivate

at the news. Your audience awaits.



Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Pulsar, Tessellate, and Scarlet Leaf Review, among others.

Robert Beveridge