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Tuesday, June 14, 2022


by Kim Malinowski

I cannot say ban guns 


I cannot say ban assault rifles 

when the Uzi I fired at eight still thrums 

its song through my veins, the recoil still smacking muscle 

rifle stabled on rusty hood 

merging in fierce moment with those before me 

deep in warrior chant. 


I cannot cannot say ban assault rifles 

the morgue has seen enough mangled 

enough loved ones pointing at shirts that should be muddy 

not tie-dyed with blood. 


I cannot cannot cannot watch faces line up  

as if on the milk carton shelf 

rows of parents, rows of children, wives, lovers, husbands, police 

panic the pledge of allegiance 


I cannot cannot cannot 


cannot see plague 


when I prime flintlock, inherit ancestors’  


  savor gritty aftertaste  

Kim Malinowski is a lover of words. Her collection Home was published by Kelsay Books and her chapbook Death: A Love Story was published by Flutter Press. She has three forthcoming verse novels. Her work has appeared in War, Literature, and the Arts, BOMBFIRE, S/tick, Mookychick, and others. Her work dictated that she become a political science defined rebel, advocating for listening and understanding of our individual and collective history and bringing it to the page. She writes because the alternative is unthinkable.