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Groupon Discount Gun Lesson For One

by Warren Longmire

The last time

    a gun fired this close to my head

    was a dice game on the corner to the left of home

 

    a sly word suddenly turned to spit and shout

    as my Dad's plant foot pushed on the gas

 

    my head pushed to the floor by Mom's forearm and

    the tire burn burst mixed with gunpowder in my nose

 

Today

    during the first rack of my rental Glock's slide

    what I notice most is the resistance of it

 

    a hundred rubber-bands coiled inside a smooth polymer

    insisting on closing the hole I'm suppose to spread

 

Somewhere

    the residue of someone's blood still bakes

    under blacktop rarely repaved.

    

    old shells crimped by truck and timberland

    are scattered in a backyard overtaken by weed

 

Today

    I click the black chiclet under my index

    a rail of metal trapdoors into my palm

 

    Snap it, a man in plaid says

    with a distracted voice in the hurried store.

    

    two hand grab it like a small neck

    but not tight because this is meant to be fun

 

I thumb

    the small caliber rounds one by one

    as a dark thunder cracks past my headgear

 

    And it is such a delicate time.

    The plaid man tell me to relax.

 

I think

    of the minute dance of bullets on countertops

    blocks around my birth place

 

    exploding from the corner bar and the lingering red

    after the fact. In the past like a ratty winter coat.

 

    Right now every other summer day.

 

A 14 year old girl in an American Eagle sweater

    one cheap sheetrock hold to right

    

    steadies barbie pink rifle at piece of paper. Laughing

    a bus driver from around the way pays cash

 

    buys fingerling rounds in an efficient cardboard box

    popping quarter-sized holes through poker card targets.

 

I try to remember

    how to steady the sights. Toggle a cheap switch

    that moves a line drawn thick browed stranger

 

    toward the back of the room and breathe

    searching for the worth
    

    as the black in my hand screams fire towards his face

    on my mark.

 

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