Willie Smith

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 120 in October, 2009.

Handguns are tempting beauties.
They exude aroma that transcends.
They inspire careful thought.
You hear them
scream tiny anthems as they hurry away,
heart deadset on life
perfect as a target.

But at twilight
handguns sob to be unloaded and left alone.
And no one listens, because their tears
are like piano wire begging to be hammered,
because their triggers
hang out like tongues frozen to a fencepost,
because their sad beauty repeats

to the instant of inaction. Once jammed,
their barrels take on the look of tombstones,
as if the dead remembered.