untitled (20171105)

how many hearts
how many prayers
balance the scale

the moon is the color of blood
the color of rust
the color of flattened lead

twenty-six stars wink out

who would ever think
such a thing would

those who ask this question
would find a special
place in hell
if we ever needed
such a place

Poem 20150202

in high school
my best friend’s dad, a cop
took us shooting one weekend
at a local range

i don’t remember where

there were a lot of rules about
when you could pick up the gun
when you could pop in the clip
where you could point it, loaded or not
and once i picked it up
before they gave the go ahead
and the man behind the bullet-proof glass
yelled at me
to lay the gun down
and every

they probably wondered if i
were insane or just stupid
but there was no doubt that i
was dangerous to a dugout full
of armed men

i put the gun down

his dad showed me how to shoot an automatic
but I wasn’t very good
even then my eyesight was bad
one time, the slide drew back
and sliced through the knuckle of my thumb
because I was holding it wrong
like a cop on tv

you never saw anyone’s knuckles
spurt blood on tv

my ears rang afterward
even with the headphones on