We used to flinch whenever a disaster fell into our palms.
They are sent as distress signals through wires
that are snipped immediately, like umbilical cords -
whenever a finger traces the trigger.

Left or right, the direction makes no difference -
a sixshooter can no longer keep pace with our mourning.
There is no dearth of ammunition to gird the chambers.
A skittish flow of confessions and condolences
makes for a round where every risk is a gamble for a right to live.

Each smoking shell is a regret and every shot is fatal.
Our posturing is perfect as we stare down the barrels,
inviting them time and again to bore through our skulls.
Anxious fingers pine for a chance after every snapping concussion.

The shells spill to the floor like so many used coins.
We wade in them, our eyes never leaving the shaking on either side,
making them fit into the scenery of our constant suicides.

We have the hands to drop the bullets,
but never the strength to scoop them up.
Never the hands to shield ourselves,
only the dexterity to reload.


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