11 irregular stanzas on trimming toenails by Kat Couch
By GAtherton


the first nail flies off like a seed
a dark germ inside
and plants itself in the sleeping grass
come May a full-grown toe
luscious and greening
brings grackles to the cottonwood

the second is a fractured nursery rhyme
a plump little piggy going to market
disfigured by a fungal rash
even the wolf crosses the street
to avoid him

about the third
the less said the better
a disappointment to his family

Disney wrote the fourth
a scimitar from the Arabian Nights
sharp as the thing
that sets it free

five, Dickensian
a washerwoman
proud and fat

a lawyer raised number six
home schooled she
argued a case
before the Supremes
regarding the rights of toes

seven was a sly serial toe murderer
the cutest of the bunch
motel owners remembered him
signing the check

eight ate
leather, loved one hundred
and fifty dollar
running shoes

nein, the philosopher
famously said after all
what is a toenail?

the tenth nail
from the big right toe, a cruel flagship 
shoots a sliver across the lake
the ice just off
the geese lazy on rails
like amusement park rides

remember the girl who dragged herself
from the sea 
(who can forget her)
where Dad’s sperm roiled the water?
the lunatic seer of Babylon
warned us against this one:
you, Alea
the second apocalypse of love