Thoughts and Prayers
Carpet the bottom of my tongue, mismatched
against the bruised upholstery of a nation
stitched to the sheepskin of a gun barrel.
The woolen mouth coughs into the microphone—
For the victims, for the families, for the responders, for…
for the screams swallowed whole
by the whirling cylinder of a semi-automatic,
for the eyes pried open by the click of a trigger
held captive, not wanting to see.
See, the guns don’t kill people, people kill
people. People kill people—
it scratches down the back of my throat,
the aftertaste of cotton country just enough
to turn the other way before I digest the facts.
The facts: the only thing stopping a bad guy with a gun
is the frayed selvage of American fantasy.
No, my only gun is the mouth of this country
choking as it speaks, spitting out sympathy.
My sympathy, dedicated to those
who watch that cylinder and realize
only blood is measured by the weight of a circle.