Poem: The Pistol and the Promises | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Poem: The Pistol and the Promises 

I'm a romantic with a revolver. It's not smart to get close to me because I make bullets with my stomach acid, with the things that hurt to hold on to. You see, there's nowhere to put them down but the magazine of this gun and your forehead looks so inviting. I hope you want to fade away from me. I hope you want to run.

I've been told by people I used to trust with my life that I am a violent mess of a person and that I'm going to end up being a bomb in a graveyard. You asked me once if people can die twice and I told you that I died the first time I looked at you, that I die every time I wake up, but I don't think that's true. You see, I haven't died yet. I've stared down the edge of a knife without flinching, I've looked at the bottom of the pool like it's somehow gonna fix the broken things inside me to get rid of them altogether. It won't. It hasn't.

I want to die some days. Some days I don't. You told me I might as well live for the times that life is livable. The gun is still in my hand. I point it at the ground, shoot at an anthill and say, "This is for the times I shot at myself." You want me to be happy. You want me to feel safe enough in my own fists to get rid of the pistol for good, but honey, I can't see that in our future because this gun is glued to my palm. I've tried to put it down and I just came back bloody.

Your name, your body is too delicate for the bullet holes in my sheets and you should never sleep between this gun and I, even though you promised you want to. The purgatory between wanting and having should sometimes stay an in between. The phone rings and it's bad news. I sleep with the gun clutched to my chest for a week.

You want in and I want the antidote. I just want the antidote.

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