I’ll bet you called them your little family,
set them up in your dollhouse, took them
to tea, fed them cake, swept little silver bodies
under your pillow at night,
I’ll bet you played with bullets as a child.
What do you dream about?
Furs, pearls, a meal ticket, a smokeless Colt—
rimless with a pearl handle? You found yourself
hitched in the desert under a quarter moon
to a nice boy who loves guns, but not killing.
Do you hook your trigger finger around his wrist?
Do you slide the barrel of your handgun
along his jaw line? Do you sleep well?
Does he fill up the spaces between your ribs,
the spaces where the want has settled?
But, it’s easy come, easy go—mostly go
and you want more than he can give you
with an honest job, a house, kids.
You want to feel that gun in your hand—
the call of easy money.
When you run into the mountains dogs nipping
at your high black heels, you want a glass of water,
a hot meal, a shower, a convertible, plane tickets.
You want that gun in your tight fist—
you want to fire your way out.
Amy Schulz has taken eleven consecutive poetry classes with Suzanne Lummis through UCLA Extension, but does not hold the record. She lives in the Los Angeles area.