explosions by Pris Campbell


he walks from one space
to another in his head,
chambers one bullet
into his gun, drives to woods
not unlike those where he hunted
as a boy, father beside him,
life unfolding before him.

his world has turned.
legs swollen and painful,
he’s too proud to use
a chair, to be seen as a cripple.
his endorphins play getaway,
refuse to don the white hat
and save him.

birds high in the trees
sing loudly, remind him
of blue skies, his half-grown
tomatoes and the fresh smell
of rain.

he won’t be dissuaded.

one cell call to 911
this is where you can find me
no note left behind.
no goodbyes or explanation.

those begging birds scatter at the explosion.

his wife, scrubbing the bathtub,
senses a shift in the universe,
comes out to check on him.

her own world explodes
with the policeman’s words.

two taken with one bullet.
the economy of suicide.

img_2555The poems of Pris Campbell have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including PoetsArtists, Rusty Truck, Bicycle Review, Chiron Review, and Outlaw Poetry Network. The Small Press has published eight collections of her poetry and Clemson University Press a collaboration with Scott Owens. When The Wolves Come After You, with Michael Parker, from Goss Publications and Squalls on the Horizon, a book of tanka, from Nixes Mate and My Southern Childhood are her most recent small press books. A former Clinical Psychologist, sailor and bicyclist until sidelined by ME/CFS in 1990, she makes her home in the Greater West Palm Beach, Florida, with her husband.

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