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Sunday, March 26, 2023


by Catherine Arra

Florida gun owners may soon be able to carry concealed weapons without a license as the permitless carry bill moves one step closer to the governor's desk after passing in the House on Friday. —NBCMiami, March 25, 2023

Beneath the vest,
jacket pocketed, back strapped,
thigh gartered, tucked into a purse.
Loaded with:
She cleaned out the bank account and left.
Took me for a ride.
The diagnosis in November,
the death certificate in May. Not fair. None of it.
This whole damn world is corrupt.
If you don’t go to Jesus,
you’re going to hell. 
When they come for me, I’ll be ready.
I was there to help.
Invisible so long
no one sees me, knows my name.
It was the whiskey.
Triggered by the slightest provocation, 
aiming to defend the sanctity of bias,
scar tissue—collective and personal.
Gunsmoke forfeits forgiveness,
hijacks healing.
Hidden grief shoots to kill.

Catherine Arra is the author of four full-length collections and four chapbooks. Her newest work is Solitude, Tarot & the Corona Blues (Kelsay Books, 2022) A Pushcart nominee, Arra is a resident of the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, where she teaches part-time and facilitates local writing groups.