Open a Window

By Amy Small-McKinney

for air, notice the airlessness
of bodies piled up
like newspapers, the airlessness
of fear, not the kind you feel
on a mountain ledge when
you don’t trust
your body’s sense of balance,
rather the kind you can’t imagine—
someone you never met
will kill you— has planned to kill you
for over a year, stockpiling ammunition
that will enter abdomen chest or head
as velocity from rifle barrel is expressed in numbers
as v is in meters per seconds
as the bullet departs its barrel
and velocity becomes zero,
as in that moment you become zero.
It has nothing to do with you.
It could be any number
of people unless you are standing there
in its general direction.
The shooter understands,
it is physics and math.


About the Author

Amy Small-McKinney won The Kithara Book Prize 2016 (Glass Lyre Press) for her second collection of poems, Walking Toward Cranes. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including The American Poetry Review, The Cortland Review, and Tiferet. Her poems are included in several anthologies, including Veils, Halos, and Shackles (Kasva Press).

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