On my street,
yes, the same street with the empty lot
and the drainpipe that looks like a middle finger
sticking out into Pretty Lake ,
people had guns.
Scott’s rusty revolver in the Phillies box.
Dale’s 45. cal, top shelf closet.
Esco’s sawed off in the trunk.
Jessica’s twenty-two in her knock-off hand bag.
When I got my first one, I kept it on me.
And you don’t have to believe me but I’ve changed since then.
Since I used to smoke in that empty lot
since I climbed into that drainpipe
and came out the man
hole up the street.
And I don’t want to be
like the young kid who shows off his Glock.
pulled from the saggy jeans and grey hoodie
and points it you—
but just for show.
I want to be the old head, and less drunk
off the idea of killing people.
I want to be the one to tell you
to put that shit away.
And you do.
Noah Renn is an MFA student at Old Dominion University. He has several publications in literary journals, including North Central Review and Blue Collar Review.