301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently


Happiness Is a Warm Gun

Happiness is a Warm Gun

Illustrated by Ryan Heshka.

Illustrated by Ryan Heshka.


To work the machine gun   you must caress it.

You have to hold it close   & whisper it prayers.

Tell it you love the way   it clicks & whirs,

how an almost-imperceptible smoke   will curl out of its muzzle.

Try to cuddle up to it in bed   for your protection:

This is the true meaning   of safe sex,

of being able to do   exactly what it says.   Pick a target

& fray its edges   with the rat-a-tat-tat   of its many-chambered song.

You’ve been invited   to a symphony of armaments,

to a harmony of the trigger   & the happiness of your hold.

Once you were lonely;   now a ring of bullet-holes

connects your flat to the one   belonging to your neighbors under siege.

Now the borders have fallen   & all you have to do

is step into the fray,   machine-gun swaying

as you calculate what’s spent   & the rounds you keep.

Enter into marriage,   just you & your gun,

just the security of knowing   this moment’s forever   & may be your last,

& don’t listen   to the voices on the megaphone

telling you you’re wrong   & no good can come of this:

it’s just a question   of you & your gun   & the metallic taste on your tongue.

Tomorrow, you can put down your arms;

but today, you’re merrily together   in your unholy aims.


From subTerrain #68

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