Shooter

2

I know something you don’t.

How it feels to ease the rifles

from my father’s gun cabinet

 

into the camouflage duffel bag.

To sit at the table and ask

my sister about her shift, my heart

 

consumed with secret hammering.

I know what it is to be low,

the small one. To feel a vanishing

 

for those who say they love me

but do not imagine what I could do.

Schoolmates talk over me, my mother’s

 

eyes bore past my videogame’s

blood-drenched screen to her own

worries, but these are not reasons.

 

Reasons float beneath my deadpan

voice, speed my dream of bodies

shuddering before me as I cross

 

to a place where evil is both engine

and afterthought, where motives,

like victims, might as well not exist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Mauro Monti

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About Author

Amie Sharp lives with her husband and dog Sigmund in Colorado, where she teaches English at Pikes Peak Community College. She previously taught high school in Tampa, Florida. Her publications include the Bellevue Literary Review, the 2River View, and the New Formalist, among others. She has been featured poet for KRCC’s Poem of the Day and guest speaker for Poetry West. A native of Tennessee, she holds an MA from the University of South Florida and an MFA from Seattle Pacific University.

2 Comments

  1. A quiet intensity, the images, the speaker’s tone, a sense we are taken into an interior space that is so hidden and disturbing it lies just below consciousness – these things are what strike me here and hold me to the screen until the very last line, at which point I can finally breathe.

  2. Becky Kasparek on

    Stunning poem, especially the ending:

    to a place where evil is both engine
    and afterthought, where motives,
    like victims, might as well not exist.

    . . . The line “where evil is both engine and afterthought” keeps chiming in my mind.

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