Outside the house the suitors line up, a long queue of them, starting at dawn. Each one with a gun. I can see them from my bedroom window —their handguns in holsters, Or rifles slung over their shoulders Like lawmen in my father’s tv westerns. In town, the fire chief shot His brains out with his service weapon. It happened in his official car behind The fire station on the main street. I lost a friend over the guns her son Brought back from the army, along with a crumpled Marital history, and a taste for thebaine. Once a black Luger was interposed Between me and the hand that held it. It was pointed my father’s head, and then at me. The Hand swept the gaze of the gun across the room. The women have armed themselves, too. Paper targets, then miscreants, then intruders at the city gates Overflowing into exurbia, the neighbors’ dogs-- Those go first, felled by your bullets. When there’s No one left to shoot, your gun Might be turned on you. I know if I got my hands on one I’d drop This embroidery, sneak out the back door, go looking for a blacksmith. I’d apprentice myself, I’d want Nothing more than to hold the black gun over the fire, pummel it. You’d thank me for this.
Lynne Viti teaches in the Writing Program at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, where her courses focus on law, media, and bioethics. Her poetry has appeared online and in print journals. She blogs at stillinschool.wordpress.com.