M-16A2 Assault Rifle
Some days I clean the rifle so it shines,
A cold slice of darkness in grease-stained hands.
Some days, I hate to take it outside, dust
Blowing faster, eating the morning brown.
Some days, after the warm silhouettes bow
Across the green field of the firing range,
I sit against sandbags, sweat in sunlight,
And hold that grip, the muzzle’s edge resting
Across the top of my thigh. And some days,
When I’ve cleaned it for hours, I want only
To take it home for the space of blue wall
Above the mantel, because it’d be wrong
To shoot again, to smear and smudge with whorls,
To blemish a thing that makes the night blush.
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