the skin of which, artificially dressed

— content warning: themes of gun violence

i could break your little bones and stuff you in a
rifle / it would hurt, true / yes, love, you would cry /
but you would be alive. i could open carry you to
your favorite donut shop / strapped to my chest like
when you were a baby in your carrier / you could
whisper your choice as an echo down the barrel /
i could pull back the charging handle / chamber your
voice like a round / shhh, love, not too loud / they
might hear you / coconut, mommy / all right, love,
anything for you, love / anything / and let the ejection
port cover snap shut on your curls / in the army i
cuddled that hot metal close to my cheek / we were
supposed to wear ear pro, but we don’t always do
the safe thing, do we, we grown ups? / it blew out
my ear drums / louder, much louder, than your
most murderous tantrum / but don’t worry, sweet
heart / don’t worry / i don’t want to shoot you
out in shards / i don’t want to cram a magazine in
your belly / don’t worry / i only want to hold you
/ i only want to keep you close /
to switch your safety selector lever from safe
to semi / back and forth, over and over / your
ticking heart against my thumb, which has a pulse
of its own and thus, i admit, not the most reliable
measure / perhaps someday we mortals may evolve
past this unpleasant part / the sundering, i mean /
i mean the obliteration of your face, disregarding the
fastidious seams where it fused in my womb, so that
you may assume your final form / perhaps in a
sweltering greenhouse garden / some chosen eve
will scream forth a vernix-coated rifle / tender nipples
dripping bullets / listen, darling / when you take apart
a rifle to bathe it / sorry, love, i meant to clean it /
you must be careful of the firing pin / small, precious,
easily lost / without it, the weapon won’t fire / i
would store your consciousness in there / think about
it / you’ll be immortal / they could bury us together /
your mind a trinket on a chain around my neck /
shhhh, don’t cry / love / it’s better this way / don’t