Criminal Mine
The one time I had a gun pointed
at my head, I had little to say. The guy
didn’t look like a marksman, all jittery
like the gun had a propeller

but I didn’t tell him that.
Forgive me this late turn toward
innocence. Maybe someday forgetting
will be effortless. In that convenience store

I wanted to ask if the gun was loaded.
That question still causes inconvenient
silences. I still smell the worn tiles,
the streak of dirt from when I’d mopped

sloppy, right before closing. I closed
my eyes as I was told, lying down
as instructed, behind the counter. He was
unhappy with me. He’d thought there’d be

more. We always do, I might have said
now. I counted to ten, as instructed, hoping it
would not be to infinity. He ran out the door,
and dry silent fear lingered like the damp

smell of old footsteps. When I finally got
to my feet, I found my hands back
in the air, quivering their I don’t want
to die wave. If you want to see it,

I have it memorized.
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