Love, a Hungry Gun
When we hit the playback button
for the catapult
and call it history class,
will it show us every heave
of its life in a single second,
like the wing of a half-buried hummingbird?
Why can’t we learn from vivisecting weapons
the way we learn from the frozen horse
sliced into Bible pages
and scanned? An NRA mouthpiece
came to me in a dream and said
“Guns don’t kill children, other children do.”
Except when a hundred cops arrive,
and they spill out of their cars,
Glocks grafted onto their wrist-bones,
each of them giving different orders all at once:
don’t move, hands in the air, get on the ground,
don’t move, show me some ID, you have five seconds,
show me your hands, slowly, turn around, now,
hold your fire, did
you say fire?
get on the ground, don’t move, get on the ground,
touch the sky.
And the two brown boys holding hands
for two black men gripping pistols,
as if black love is a hungry gun,
and the boys multiply themselves
a thousand times
so that their various versions
can follow all the directives,
because their father told them to comply, comply.
But the cops still shoot them all, except one.
He dies, but it is because they told him don’t move
and he followed the command
stopping his own heart, fixing his lungs into petrified wood,
halting even the unbent light
that usually rushes into his eyes
like tornadoed branches of oak.about the author