William Emery

a defiant child papa-gänger sa-ys his loveis the tho-rns his screa-ming the sym-metry of therose rose rose rose rose rose seen not in Kansas the menhaven't mouths at dinner or out whenI'm not listening I'm silent my silences are the reasonfor an arboretum every utterance quelledmay acorn into oak monkey puzzle paper birchponderosa maple palm before / after / inside / the slap snip snip this poem is titled castratingmy father/biodad/his absencethe letters are easy to lopas I near daily neuterhis name --justice-- ofall absurdities it soundslike a newspaper the dailyneuter an anti-justice ragimagine my editor's delightattacking with all adolescencethe republic on the subject and finding Thrasymachussly dogging “justice is nothingbut the advantage of the stronger” the concept empty as the heartinside a judge's robes my son doesn't have it and none of my books for a bit of moneyand some months of bureaucratic wrassleI could remove the appendage entirelyand one day I will William Emery is a fourth-generation Kansan living in quasi-voluntary exile in NYC. He’s a former editor at Heyday Books, and founder of Ad Astra Books and Coffee House in Salina, Kansas. His work has appeared in The Collagist, Noble / Gas QRTLY, and Leveler, among other places. He’s working on a novel of folklore, giants, and lost prairie ecosystems.