$25

by KEITH RAWSON

the nurse
drawing my plasma
is having
trouble finding
a vein

she asks again
about drug use

and
about why I’m choosing
to donate
today?

her fingers shake,
her skin is blotchy

with white heads,
her voice is a cat’s tail
slammed

in a rusty screen door.

I tell her,

I’m too lazy to work
for $7.50 an hour
and rent is
due in

two weeks

And I can’t afford a
Gun.

(originally appeared at The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly)


Keith Rawson is a little-known pulp writer whose short fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews have been widely published both online and in print. He is the author of the short story collection The Chaos We Know (SnubNose Press)and Co-Editor of the anthology Crime Factory: The First Shift. He lives in Southern Arizona with his wife and daughter.

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4 thoughts on “$25

  1. A gritty, hard-boiled little gem.

  2. Gritty and hard-boiled, yes, but knee-deep in untold sorrows as well. Nicely done.

  3. short and to the point … I liked it!

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