Not the Muzzle But the Breach

Eyes 2

photo by Charley

 

It’s not the muzzle,
the deep well of the automatic staring,
nor the cold, expressionless face
of the young girl pointing
the weapon.

It’s hardly the high-whining
crotch rocket rider who cut
off the semi-truck sending
it careening into your lane
of traffic.

It isn’t the mother bear charging,
not because you jogged
between her and her cubs,
but because she’s been eating
trash left at the curb,
and you look tasty,
smell salty, pungent,
and are easy prey.

No, and it certainly isn’t that well-prepared
sunny-side-up three eggs, the sausage,
the bacon, the well-buttered toast awaiting
a liberal slathering of marmalade, and not
your fourth mug of coffee, heavily creamed
and sugared, that’s about to swirl out of sight
into a gray-brown nothingness as you slump
forward.

It was the many nights you couldn’t sleep.
The nights you listened to your own heart.
And the days you couldn’t set it aside; it gnawed.
It was a tiny breach that couldn’t handle all the pressure.

 

I just couldn’t resist a prompt like “Bang, you’re dead!”  The prompt comes from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  So, here goes.

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28 thoughts on “Not the Muzzle But the Breach

  1. Rereading your poem while listening to BJ. Firstly, that photo is freaky weird and sets the whole thing in motion. Grey-brown nothingness – best line! Brilliant, the format of the negatives – the things ‘it’ isn’t and then at the end you tell us what ‘it’ IS. That excellent final stanza leads us back to the title – perfect! Love your angle on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As Jilly said, really like the form of It’s not… That worked well. And I love “high-whining / crotch rocket rider” and “because she’s been eating / trash left at the curb, / and you look tasty,” The ending brings all the vibrant imagery down to ground, slower, subtle. Thoughts gnawing a small hole that then one day breach is great. For some reason I want to drop “pounding”, and just let it be “listen to your own heart”. Why do hearts always have to pound? I want the listening to be part of the gnawing I guess.

    The first stanza jumps really quickly from maybe falling down a well in a partial line, to 5 lines of a gun and a 13-year-old. I’d suggest maybe a tighter, punch list of possible things that could kill me be aren’t right now. Then it expands into the truck, expands even more into the bear, and grows into the breakfast. Also since we are “no-cliche” Friday, the cold expressionless 13 year old could go and nobody would miss him.

    Let me know if that is too much or of any use!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s very much of use! Thank you! The well is actually meant to be the muzzle of the weapon. A small dark hole down which one’s life might disappear. I agree the 13 year old has reached cliche status (mostly because of the reality of homicidal 13 year old gang initiates in this country). Still, a cliche is a cliche. I will revisit. Thank you for honest feedback.

      Like

    • Your comments on Muzzle/Breach made me go back and look again as well. I agree about the heart pounding. If the line ends with Heart, as a reader I’m asking if the poet is hearing the actual beats or otherwise. I prefer the unanswered question. As for the cliches, I’ll let y’all duke it out, take it to the mat, or any other battle worn thing that works.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, Charley, I’m not long up – it’s just 7 am here – and I’m reading your poem, amazed. You get straight into it, bringing the reader face to face with the gun and the drama of the following stanzas..And then you slow the pace, to build up the heart attack:
    ‘your fourth mug of coffee, heavily creamed
    and sugared, that’s about to swirl out of sight
    into a gray-brown nothingness as you slump
    forward’
    and
    ‘…it gnawed.
    It was a tiny breach that couldn’t handle all the pressure’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, that tiny breach. The contrast between the firearm, bears and so forth as opposed to just nagging thoughts that finally do one in…really nicely perceived and expressed.

    I don’t think i agree with your header tagline. Emily Dickinson lived in the suburbs.

    Love that song. I think everyone does!

    –coal (Fireblossom)

    Liked by 1 person

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