Loaded Gun

Joan McBride

I. Somewhere in the room
where we sleep is the loaded gun.
He says it’s hidden
in a drawer where the children
can’t find it.
He says we sleep safer
because of the hidden gun.

II. When I wake
in the dark
it’s there—
a metallic taste
in my mouth like blood.
If I move
I can hear the whir
of the tracking mechanism.
When I open my eyes
I stare into the dumb blackness
and am stranded
in the sights like a radar signal
homing in on the center of madness.

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