January 2004 / Volume Five / Issue One
Lisa Kaitz
And So He Lies

A bullet rips through the air
threaded on a perfect axis
glides busily
pushing particles aside
then plunges into skin
like a needle into a grape
pushing particles aside
slams through bone
spins off the littering fractions
snaps apart veins as if hair
churns through pulp and plasma
carves muscle and organs alike
into sculpted abstraction
blood buoys the nugget
like Cheerios on milk
as it settles dormant
done with its plow
A weathered palm had cupped three bullets
and rattled them like loose teeth
then slid them each
into the cylinder
and spun it clean
He had nodded at the
whiz and click
taking comfort in such sounds
anxious and resolved
he smoothed an eyebrow down
removed his clothes
He did not review this year
for that is how he became
cocooned in utter sorrow
could not expel this poison
nor the other fifty-seven
and could not find the strength to try
could only muster will enough
to quiet the weeping in his throat
then jerked the cord
looped to the trigger
clenched by a vice
locked onto the grip
Took sixty to rig
sixty to shoot and
forty-five to vomit the jewel
And so he lies
dizzy from epiphany
delicate as a bubble
emasculated and content
in letting
salt and sap
leak out of a hole
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