the sound is unmistakable
& I know it’s loaded. like him.
startled by the sound, but not surprised.
bottles lined up by the trash can,
his hallelujahs & his hosannas
my threnodies & dirges
the spell & the pall defining us
sober, the guns are here to protect the house.
but mostly they’re to menace us both.
I forget why we’re arguing:
looking like his beat-down mother
& suddenly he’s thirteen again
in a house of punching drunks
two by two I take to the stairs,
weight of sound,
unforgiving ka-shunk of the shotgun
with him upstairs
By Allie Marini
A poem from Disarm: A Themed issue Responding to Mass Shootings in America
Allie Marini is a cross-genre writer holding degrees from both Antioch University of Los Angeles & New College of Florida. She was a 2018 Shitty Women in Literature nominee, and has been a finalist for Best of the Net and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her masthead credits include Lunch Ticket, Spry Literary Journal & Mojave River Review. She has published a number of chapbooks, including Pictures from the Center of The Universe (Paper Nautilus, winner of the Vella Prize) and Southern Cryptozoology: A Field Guide to Beasts of the Southern Wild (Hyacinth Girl Press, finalist for the SFPA’s Elgin Award) In addition to her work on the page, Allie was a member of Oakland’s 2017 National Slam Team. A native Floridian now freezing to death in the Bay Area, Allie writes poetry, fiction, and essays. Find her online: www.alliemarini.com