A Memorandum to the Gunloving and an Embrace to the Newest Members of the Survival Club 

by Kallahan Stanley
When will I be allowed to 
open carry my grief 
without someone shooting that down too?
Just because you draw your weapon quick 
doesn’t mean  haven’t already 
died on you;
I win by
being an ignored body, occasionally corpse, of proof.
It depends on the day—did I
ride the tail of a hearse on my way 
to work not remembering even getting in the car
or do I realize I’m a main attraction of this procession?
Did I wake up with my eyes closed, already in my coffin
unable to stop it or smell the flowers sent by those I love?
Living will become dialectic,
an attempt to determine where you are if you aren’t 
six feet under.
Currently I conceal carry my phrases
[ _ _ _ _ you ].
_ _ _ _  in the blanks yourself, I feel too much like I’ve done too much already. Besides,
I don’t have this kind of time, I
know because I never don’t hear the ticking of that glock and
—I don’t get that kind of sleep, anymore.
Still, I wear me out policing myself against you:
trigger tongue and hold hostage thoughts
throat-holstered, but how nice a feeling sometimes
having my teeth sunk into a tongue that
isn’t mine.
The nodding of my head isn’t agreement
that’s recoil, 
threat and an echo, promise and a compromise, thought and prayer
fun and games until—                                       .
Is it good when you love that pistol?
I bet it is I know the 
metal taste I taste it in the bite I give my lip when
I want your noise to stop and my
friends to start being alive again I think I
taste it now I think it has become the essence of my breath