Cortney Lamar Charleston, At Gunpoint

Bones quivering and yet the strings
of his ligaments tighten to the point he can

only stand still—               swallow. Push words
down throat in small, silvery bullets of spit:

                            will I make it
                              home alive?

His eyes, syncopating like drum cymbals
in their sockets, seeing all the days, all

the years, tattooed with red x’s,
stacked high and set aflame:

                            a touch of hand
                              reverses him.

From his ashes: florets
staining the air with cinnamon.

Everything back to seed, back
inside the dark shell of nothingness,

the time before time itself. Yes,
a touch of hand might do it—

                            revert him to possibility,
                            render him a theory,

a wrinkle in the echo of one big bang
waiting for another to occur,

                            a peculiarity of
                            urban physics

either unsolvable or
not worth solving, unless

                            contrast makes for added
                            curiosity. Cameras. Coin.

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