Ode to Money, or Patient Appealing Health Insurance for Denial of Coverage

by Katie Farris

Katie Farris

I don’t know what money is. Moss? The mink’s crescent
teeth? Or maybe money is
the morning I woke
at dawn to wander
past the orange
blossoms, a smell with four
dimensions, touching me through
time. Is that


My uncle, Christopher Marlowe,
mad, drank the visions until he died.
You bury

To determine a family’s net
value, make a list of assets, then subtract
liabilities. Asset: Geraldine Fox’s 1948 degree in
chemistry. Liability: William Marlowe’s propensity
for hurting his daughter. Am I doing this right? Is this

the gold standard?

Asset: seeing light that isn’t there,
like a ship passing through the narrow harbors
of my eyes, scraping—
is burying treasure a cash

I once buried a half-
decayed skunk I fished from my Uncle Christopher’s
garbage can, covered in bees. X marks the spot.

In sum: perhaps the moon’s an insurance adjuster.

America’s optimistic to dye its money
green. Leaves are green
because of chlorophyll, which is the machine
that turns sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into leaf, stem, and root. All
the little blades of grass left behind by the lawn mower like Civil
War soldiers. Same as cash.

A heavy-bodied moth
caught between glass and screen casts its shadow down
into the palm of my hand: one dark coin.

Last updated April 25, 2023