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|  GUNSHOT

 
  1.
He falls without grace, plummets.
A body sack of wet sand
hurtles to a pervasive blankness.
The moon
is a hawks claw that grips
nothing, and he wakes out
of the trance too late,
now Ive done it. Already falling.
A hand held out at the bottom,
nine storeys down,
to catch him, in its forever palm.
At the seventh floor, though,
hes already dead



2.
There was a loud pop
which he heard,
and then shrieks
which he didnt.
No longer responsive.
Bones need no mending.
Splints and bandages
remain in clasped
and zippered boxes.
Blood circulates
beyond the confines of skin
free form split over
cold concrete pillow.
Ear pressed to the ground
listening for Gods heartbeat.



3.
The cause of death
is a gunshot wound to the chest.
No signs of struggle
in the apartment
filled with girlie mags. A quiet
sort of fellow. Always a smile,
Good morning. Who would
want to hurt him.
On the ninth floor,
neighbours dont
hear a thing



4.
In a seventh floor apartment:
Ill show them! Where the fucks
that gun! Rage like a shed fire.
So Im the fuckin jackass of the family!
Not a single peaceful day
in the wasp nest heart
that shocks him awake. Every day.
Empty bottles confirm his patience
to himself, send him
bashing into walls, flipping chairs.
This is the last fucking time!
Do you hear me! For her, suddenly
the air is made of embroidered glass.
Nothing she ever does is right
for him. Which means for her.
Eighteen long wasted irretrievable years.
Hes a bastard and an asshole.
And she tells him that
every chance she can
in the most deliberate
and subtle forms of wording,
innuendo and intonation.
And he hears every fragment like
theyre spiral worms
drilling holes into soft
rotting wood. I hate you
I hate you. Im going to kill you!
You hear me!
Yeah yeah. You say that every time.




Go ahead. Bitch! His face about to explode
white stubble into the sink
of dirty dishes, onto the limegreen
fridge door. Shot gun. To her face.
Die bitch! You hear me. Die!
Then, as always,
he swings the gun
at the last minute
toward the balcony window.
Toward the moons hooked knife.
But instead of each ounce
of rage releasing primal screams
through a soft blank click,
theres a blast.
He falls back bug-eyed,
shaking, heart flapping
like a fish on a boat.
What the Christ was that!



5.
Murder? How can it be murder? I mean Christ
hed already jumped.
Thats how he died. It was the shot
that killed him.
Yeah but it was an accident.
My own goddamn son. For Chrissakes,
just some freaky accident.
We have a body, and we have
a loaded weapon. Second degree murder.
But I didnt load the gun. Its never
been loaded. Its just something I do.
You know. To let off a little steam.
A little too much to drink, the wife
starts yappin, yknow.
Gets after me, under me a bit.
I just wave it around. To blow off some steam.
I aint never hurt nobody with it.
Christ its never been loaded!
Its just my way, yknow,
to get some shit off my chest





Its like I says to them, sure he always takes out
that stupid gun of his. Kind of like to scare me.
Been doing it for years. But he aint never
hurt me or nothin, I says. Its never been loaded.
Sure the first couple of times it scared me like
he was going to blow my head off for real,
run to my mums and theyd just send me back.
Hes no easy man to live with, what with the drinking
and the going out doing God knows what. I dont want to know.
Eighteen years I says, but he aint never hurt me.
I mean with the gun. Its more like, yknow,
a joke now, I says. The angry bastard takes
out his gun. Kind of makes me laugh, which gets him
really mad. But its never been loaded. I says ask anyone.



6.
The full moon forms a bold warrior
strategy, slices fearless
across the sky, cuts clouds
in half, snips the mesh
between the stars, crazy laughter,
naked. Spills zebra milk
through the window onto
the worn-out furniture
of the dark apartment.
An accomplice. There, a shadow
moves around, plays at
being noiseless. Came down from
the ninth floor.
Bastard bastard bastard
shithead. Show him, just watch.
Eighteen fucking years.
Hate you dad. Fuckin
hate you dad. And mom,
hate you, that
nervous stupid smile.
Assholes.
Like hes some god,
cant look me in the eye.
Just gulping air
like a sick fish. Oh Christ
I could kill him. I want to kill him.
Here dad. Surprise. Im loading
up your gun for you.



Cant wait til your next fight with mom,
and you explode her face to pieces.
Can just hear it now,
oh Christ oh Christ
whathe, whathefuckwasthat!
You o.k.? you o.k.? Whave I done?
Nowhere to hide. Cant wait
to see flashing cars
down there, cops tearin
up the stairs to drag you away.
Just cant fucking wait.



7.
The last quarter moon slips
behind the stars
and shears off the roots
like peeling the skin
from a rabbit. Goes unnoticed.
What doesnt go unnoticed
is the silence, the absence
of what he wants to hear.
No gunshots. Waiting.
Pacing. Drinking. Toking.
Waiting. No shots. Pacing.
Drinking. Sleeping. Waking.
Will he hear. Hears
lots of things. Not sure.
Creeps down the stairs,
to the seventh floor.
Ear to the door, holds
breath. Frenzy. Quiet.
And hears loud talking. Goes back quick
upstairs again. Waiting.
Listening. For sirens. Gunshots
and sirens. Pacing. Waiting.
Opening pages to pictures. Some pills
to stay awake. Drinking. Sleeping.
Bolting up suddenly. Shouldnt
be asleep. I shouldnt be asleep.
Up. Pacing. Waiting. Dont
answer the phone. Dont
answer the door.


Waiting. No shots. Waiting & then
waiting & then I cant
take this I cant
take this I cant & howling
& howling
& howling to the balcony railing
& then flying.
Down down down. Now Ive done it.
Hears a gunshot.
Then nothing. A force
alters his downward course,
he becomes a trajectory,
lands on the pavement.
Somewhere else


from new poems
TBD
2009
Copyright © Jim Slominski