A-3, the Cashier Bot

A-3, the Cashier Bot
Was introduced in 2018
To all the stores
At first, people knew he couldn’t count the change
And they cheated him
With foreign coins the size
Of quarters, dimes, nickels—
The manager called him Jim
And he was a good worker—
Never asked for days off
Or bathroom breaks
Or complained about the work
But the old cashiers, the humans, hated Jim
They pulled out his battery
And left it on the manager’s chair
Like a grotesque war prize
And then—
They buried him in an empty yard beside a parking lot.

The Drinking Again

I don’t want to be an option
Or the glass you slide into
After a heartbreak.
Give me your heart, courage, fire, promise
On my own merits,
So I don’t have to watch the
Fullness of you
Walk out the door in her handbag
And leave me to my writing
And drinking, again.

The Pale Rose Whispers

Like the right words, it evades me, but
Oh, how the pale rose whispers
Of footsteps taken down to the resounding sea
While the sun beats down and blisters

Mercilessly, mercilessly, oh, mercy me
My love is a secret kiss, tucked away in a garden at vespers
While the ladies in silk gloves gossip over tea
The fireflies dance in the evening haze, these memories daze, and fester

How soon, how soon, today’s promises become tomorrow’s recollections
And thorny grows the pale rose of a day ago’s resolution
The dawning-time becomes the rime of youth, frosted-over with reflection
For even pale roses need, from time to time, the water of ablution

And I will wander forevermore, through empty palace halls
Until the day comes tomorrowing away, when my lover should chance to call.

Pecking Up the Evidence

They pecked up fingers and toes—
The red door still dripped blood
From the sacrifice made to the giant chicken-god
Who lived in the house.
The humans mustn’t know—
Where the mailman went
Or the bill collectors
Or those men in black sunglasses, black suits—
Redfeathers buried their shiny badges by the oak tree
All hail Penny Bigchicken, who lived in the house.


“A-3, the Cashier Bot” and “Pecking Up the Evidence” are excerpts from Leslie D. Soule’s new poetry chapbook, My Mentor, Death. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.