Love Me Like Your Guns

I'm as black as they
I'm your trophy
above the mantle
I'm your side piece
in your holster
I'm your gift
and your right
from God Almighty
Grip the neck of
this coveted steel
I'm your dirty letters
and naughty numbers
AR-15, 9 MM, your .45
Rat-tat-tat-tat me
Blauk blam blau into
the early morning
Your Saturday Night Special
I'll take load after load
one bullet at a time
Twirl me around
on your finger and
lick my barrel before
squeezing me tight
until I explode

September 15, 2020

Len Lawson

Len Lawson is author of Chime (Get Fresh, 2019) and the chapbook Before the Night Wakes You (Finishing Line, 2017). He is co-editor of Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race (Muddy Ford, 2017). A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Len has received fellowships from Callaloo, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and others. His poetry appears in Callaloo, African American Review, Ninth Letter, Verse Daily, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. Len is also a Ph.D. candidate in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning the 2020 IUP Outstanding Doctoral Student Award. You can find Len on Facebook (Len Lawson), Twitter (@lenvillelaws) and Instagram (@lenville_laws).

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