I have joked about suicide with the
Tastelessness of an overcooked steak, charred
Like a body burnt in the wreck of a
Car (the logical end result of nights
Spent drinking and a brain that backfires and
Bristles in the presence of speed limits)
Had I died, the real killer would not have
Been the bullet but the decisions that
Put me in the path of the gun, the sheer
Hubris that has often found me waltzing
‘Round a battlefield wearing a target
(I have kissed the lips of cliffs, flirted with
Fire, run cars red, toasted to broken glass)
But if I have let my laugh echo down
The cavernous depths of a barrel, I
Am grateful no monster emerged therewith
There are mountains unconquered, stories to
Tell, women to love. My work is not yet
It was a gun. That was new.
Well, really, nothing was new, but the experience of being a gun as at least less common. Plus, there was something satisfying about it. A gun had a purpose. It was meant to be fired. Not like a stupid cube. Nothing good ever came from, or happened to, cubes. Just getting smashed by different weights traveling at different velocities.
But it wasn’t fired. Its form was altered, an inch here, an ounce there, and then it was nothing, but at least it had been something interesting for a while.
* * *
It was a bullet.
It was of two minds about being a bullet as opposed to being a gun. Bullets traveled in a way that made guns seem stationary, and the sensation of speed was a joy in and of itself. But bullets were acted upon and guns were the actors. There was something submissive about it. Oh, bullets still had a purpose, but that purpose was for a firing pin or a striker to hit their primers, nearly penetrate them, and then to be launched towards a target. A bullet was an object to be aimed and fired, temporary and permanent but with no will of their own. But all things considered, there were worse things to be.