It is not immortal. Nothing is, save the stars,  

god – so we are told –  


Longer than the length of your arm or your life  

inert unless in your grasp  


Committing your sins hand-in-hand  

firing on your impulse, just a jerk of your finger  


Hand-in-hand with your manhood––  

just a boy when it became yours—seven—  


birthday gift from your father, a casual murderer  

intent on pummeling you till you resembled him  


He taught you to load, aim, how to hold it,  

how to stalk, trick, trap; to justify self-defense  


He told you godhood is yours for the taking  

that your will supersedes the will of others.  


You have many of them now; some fit lightly in your hand,  

others sit on your shoulder, whispering  


You sense they’re part of you, you’re naked without them  

metal like a beard, fingernails, growing from within  


Some were used in a war he taught you  

should have severed north from south  


a war you still wage, a war still raging;  

these you revere, even worship.  


in the image of a heavenly Father  

You believe you are ordained to carry this power  


openly and use it as you see fit  

You are rendered almighty in your own eyes.  


You feel more alive when you kill.  

It’s like ascending to heaven for a split second  


each time, then descending to seek more earthly prey.  

What is not like you, what doesn’t fit into  


your narrow vision of creation is what you hunt.  

You will eliminate it. You surveil the land you think is yours,  


cameras in the treetops, cameras on your chest  

If it moves without your permission—  


even a bird in flight—you crook your finger.  

If you don’t like the look of it, the color;  


if it limps, sways, you crook your finger.  

If it’s female it isn’t to be trusted—  


they lash out, feral, protecting the young—  

If it’s your nephew’s son whose genetic disorder  


spooks you, gives you the jitters  

If it’s his mother, or your wife, or your daughter-in-law  


their fear of you coalescing to contempt  

as they discern the weight of you with women-held scales  


Blind justice finds you mortal; a mere man, very far from god.  

So you set your sights on obliterating justice.