One boyfriend said to keep the bullets
locked in a different room.
or it could explode. Larry
thought I should keep it loaded
under my bed,
you never know.
I bought it
when I didn’t feel safe. The barrel
reflective, the steel
pure, pulled from a hole
in West Virginia. It
could have been cast into anything, nails
along the carpenter’s lip, the ladder
to balance the train. Look at this, one
how almost nothing it is—
saltpeter sulphur lead Hell
burns sulphur, a smell like this.
safety & hammer, barrel & grip
I don’t know what I believe.
I remember the woods behind my father’s house
horses beside the quarry
stolen cars lost in the deepest wells,
the water below
an ink waiting to fill me.
Outside a towel hangs from a cold line
a sheet of iron in the sky
roses painted on it, blue roses.
Tomorrow it will still be there.
"My Mother Contemplating Her Gun" © 2000 Nick Flynn. Reprinted from Some Ether with the permission of Graywolf Press, St Paul, Minnesota.
Source: Some Ether
(Graywolf Press, 2000)