poem25 Jul 2022 05:54 am
Photo by I, Sailko, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3614837

Michelle Muenzler

It's not really a gun unless it's loaded, your father said
which doesn't make much sense the more you think about it
what with the silent zzzt of your rifle
whining in your ear, battery charger dangerously low
and your opponents
those octopodal bear-backed who-knows-whats
slinging shells from tubes that increase in speed the further they fly
as though inertia has no meaning
and maybe for them it doesn't
because where is the meaning when it's just you and them
and their closest galactic ally
some species you have yet to even identify
but mostly reminds you of a bathtub gone to rust
and trundling about on five legs, towing behind it
a half-ton rod
and if the rod intersects space and time, disconnects
and when it reconnects evaporates your companion beside you who was only
clinging as best he could to the laws he knew
to the weapons of familiarity
then yes, if said rod should break physics as well
and then reappear all handwavium aback that awkward creature once more
then is it not also a gun?
Did it not speed its target to an unlikely end
there and gone in a flash of powder as the dust of your mate collapses behind the bulkhead
Maybe it did and maybe it
it's hard to say in the chaos of combat
but if it did then maybe you can too
simply appear like a bullet, lodged in the soft appendages you think might be
your enemies' hearts or whatever is most important to them
your fist a precision rifle, death reloaded, 18 plasma charges a minute
melting your opponents and turning them into so much slick paste
running down your fingertips
And maybe you're all guns here on the battlefield
whether loaded or not
or maybe, like your father's words
none of this really matters because the battle is now
your aim is poised
and the intent to kill is etched against your finger
a bullet of its own

One Response to “A Bullet Your Own”

  1. on 08 Aug 2022 at 6:08 pm SFPA July 2022 Round-Up – SPECPO

    […] poem, “A Bullet Your Own”, Polu Texni, July 2022, http://www.polutexni.com/?p=10857 […]

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