I Know Another Nation, Where they Vote with their Hands

by gm

Jacob McArthur Mooney


The least concerned of the nation
amble in after work,
with thimbles full of clippings
spread against tape.

More committed citizens
will pull the skin back,
find that thin red threads
holed up behind old cuticles.

They bring pouches—the same size
and shape as teabags—wince
as they place their bandaged
palms on stained texts.

I know an old farmer
who scorched his thumbs,
picked free the puckered flesh
and gave it to the leftists.

The priests in poorer counties
are said to saw off whole hands
and push them through the box’s
antiseptic rubber mouth.

And on fundamental matters,
the young will give themselves
completely. The student ghetto
knows a girl who

widened the jaws, shoved
both arms through
to slip herself inside.
Curled up in excised flesh,

it is said that she survived
for seventeen years.
I don’t know if this is true.
Or if true, how she was counted.