There Is A Price On My Head

A Poem & Reading

Trapper Markelz
2 min readMay 5, 2023
AI art generated by the author

For April 2023 National Poetry Month, I am recording myself reading one of my published or self-curated pieces of poetry each day for 30 days.

Reading # 27 of 30

This poem is titled There Is A Price On My Head. This poem is available for the first time here on Medium. Enjoy!

There Is A Price On My Head

I want to believe that nothing matters,
that I can cast off wants like patterned socks,
leave behind a layer of skin like bighorn sheep

at spring elevation. But there are kids
in this world that tinkle bells and let slip
ice cream from their sugar cones.

They look down at the misfortune.
It’s called languishing–
mysterious, powerless, unforgiving.

These are ruined days filled with packs
of peppy dogs confused when you pretend
to throw a ball but hold it behind your back.

I want to believe in smiles; I want to
close my open wounds with extra platelets;
I want to believe that nothing can block

the method of my futile invention.
But this world is an abandoned air terminal now —
plenty of gates, no agents, no tickets, no pilots

— a fleet of jets left to linger
on numbered runways, the parking lot
overrun with ravenous therapy dogs.

©️ Trapper Markelz 2023

If you enjoyed this poem, please check out my chapbook Childproof Sky, a Cherrydress Chapbooks 2023 selection.

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Trapper Markelz

Trapper Markelz (he/him) is a poet who writes from Boston, MA. His work has appeared in numerous journals and publications. Check out