I Am Not a Gun

after The Iron Giant (Warner Bros., 1999)

O i have known my own capacity for destruction this intimately as well

have reared my hands as weapons

have bellowed into the mouths of lovers

              and still imagined they would listen

zoom in on the robot-monster staggering toward

              what it thought was trash but was really art or

              the antonymic truth / zoom in on me

              readjusting my jaw to continuously


O lovers, do not forgive me

for it was not that i did not understand

              the kind of heat it takes to wel[t/d] but rather

              i did not know any other way to stay


O selfish self

O brutal, belligerent honest

O stumble-me i become in the heat of wine and another body

then wake up headache and shy

pull my skin back on and leave then

              do not text you back

O lovely ugly

O vomit-crusted rosebush outside someone else’s house

zoom in on me fitting your entire artistic endeavour

              into my mouth / zoom in on my fingers

              windmilling into knives and i almost

              / cut you off

please do not excuse these moments when i am praised

for i knew what i was doing

for i opened each bottle and dialed each


for how can i measure my gun-hands unloading if

              no one will remind me of how they flew

              hungered, against

              the wall

O yes i expect there to be another time i fuck up and

              name it a martyrdom it isn’t

O people who love me do not worry for someday

              i will not need to have my phone taken

              i will douse my fire-eyes and glow less hot-

                            headed and hurt

O future self please

              if it is not too much to ask, i know

              you live somewhere already and i’d like to

                            find you

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