Ginny Kaczmarek

Shanti's Gun

The others leave. I linger. He says,  Stay, fingers hot on my arm.        He whispers,  Look: black plastic handle tucked tight into jeans    (his mom's kitchen:    fake fruit, sunlight    glaring off linoleum)           Touch it. I reach down, fingertips stroking             tentatively. He pulls it out half- way, fierce cold metal against skin  (white    tiles, purple    stain    on the tablecloth,                        jelly?) Don't tell, he breathes, sweat sharp                                      and fresh. He lets  go and I           turn, mouth full of ashes,     plastic     apples                             on the counter same as this morning only much farther away.

Ginny Kaczmarek is the assistant poetry editor of Literary Mama, to which she is also a regular contributor. Her poetry, essays, and reviews have also appeared or are forthcoming in Women's Review of Books, The Oxford American, Measure, Rattle, Umbrella, and on her blog, Ginny's Tonic. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans, where she lives with her spouse and son.