The bullet’s residue

They shall glory in it

and lift it high

above all else as

the great steel emblem

of freedom in this nation,

and they shall eat their popcorn

and get pleasure from

its destructive power

and watch with cheers

as the baddies die and

the goodies triumph over

evil because the gun

has saved the day again.


Then they stop for a moment

and see the sacred blood on

the floor and the still, still bodies

that will never laugh, will never cry

again, and the image that they see

is not the hero smoking with delight

but the wreckage left behind, and

lingering fear as the bullet’s residue.


This piece of cold steel death

lies scattered long and wide:

across nation, culture, in lives,

in all they see, consume and hear.


It is a right they say—

part of life and who we are,

the cost of this free society.


Well, eat your popcorn

and watch your action flicks

and pray that the gun lives

only there, only in two dimensions,

only on the numbing distant screen.


May 25, 2022