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.