By Hari B Parisi.
“Learned to shoot a gun in my twenties / on a dusty range, in the blister of summer.“
Popping Violence by Betirri Bengtson.
Learned to shoot a gun in my twenties
on a dusty range, in the blister of summer.
Learned to bear backfire and brute
slam of the hammer exploding powder.
Was a good shot, took pride in my aim—
projectile puncturing the heart of paper
target, grip of sculpted steel, smooth sex
of it in my girl hands. It’s been a long
stretch since—sits in a drawer now, empty
chambered, dust coiled in its hollow barrel.
Anymore, I struggle to pencil my eyebrows,
can’t read fabric content on clothing tags,
don’t recall where the ammo is kept, should
there come a time, should there be a reason.
The Blood Pudding – June 1, 2023
Hari B Parisi’s (formerly Hari Bhajan Khalsa) poems have been published in numerous journals, including Poet Lore, Peregrine, and The Bookends Review. She is the author of three volumes of poetry, most recently, She Speaks to the Birds at Night While They Sleep, winner of the 2020 Tebot Bach Clockwise Chapbook Contest. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.