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Grant Gerald Miller

The Boy's Gun

I hide the boy's gun under the couch. This economy
calls for innovation. The windows are too open. The
neighbors press their ears to the wall like fish while we
try to love them despite their shortcomings.

One day we will forget them. They will be characters
from a past life we only remember in order to prove

We count things on our fingers until they become
tangible. The boy looks in all the wrong places while
you claw at the air, shredding the silence.

We watch him search. We hold our breath even
though we are nowhere near water.

What to Fear of Shadows

Our dear little man with his green eye shadow misses
his daddy. We all line our eyes after dinner, but not so
we can see better.

Our skin slides down our bones, but we're still
momma's boys and daddy's girls with hearts swollen
where our eyes should be.

His gaze shifts to a shadow hitched to the ceiling. He
yelps and asks us to protect him from things he will
learn not to fear.

If only he had his gun to wrap his fingers around, and
a place to go where things made perfect sense between
the lines of the blinds that make the darks we try and

We tell him there is nothing to fear of shadows,
despite what the light says.

The Boy's Gun Part 2

I dump the batteries from the boy's gun. We can't
stifle his sniffles or temper his rage or worry that his
brain is stuck on sorry.

I slit my wrists once with a nail in a random bathtub
but nothing came out.

Our victories come daily.

The heat won't leave and the apartment makes a stink
about it.

We laugh between things rotting in places that are just
out of reach. Let's take our tiffs out on the trash, or
the crooked paintings of the dead that we remember
hanging strategically with the hammer and hanger kit.

The empty bathtub tells fewer stories than the boy's
gun, blasting in our ears while garbage does what it
does. We learn and forget and learn again.

Hammers don't fix anything.

➥ Bio