Benelli Nova Pump Shotgun
Who can squeeze the shot and eat the futureless future?
Of mirror white the lawn. Snow
Wedges corners and plumps the shedroof.
I have no cultural identity. Or racial identity.
Ask me if I care. By noon, rain throttles the little
Seas of rye or soy. Rum burns all its way down
To my heart of memories, dull ones, even seared with
Sugar. My legacy is Lucky Strikes, whittled sticks, gusts
Blown on a screen. In this movie, I’m not an orphan,
But have a family called MGM.
Doggy urges me out,
She and me whipped and soaked in ten steps,
Our ashy breaths coming hard by the plastered
Smokehouse. Drifts model the red barn;
Its wadded sills are blind.
In the mud room, prying off Wellingtons, shaking the anorak,
I have nothing but that I want an end before spring.
Has the force to swallow that
Blast whole? Doggy wants food, a long nap.
James Robison has published many stories in The New Yorker, won a Whiting Grant for his short fiction and a Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his first novel. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and Grand Street. He has poetry and prose forthcoming or published in The Manchester Review, Story Quarterly, The Northwest Review, The Montreal Review, The Raleigh Review, Salt Hill Journal, Scythe, Corium Magazine and elsewhere. He taught for eight years at the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, was Visiting Writer at Loyola College of Maryland, was Fiction Editor of The North Dakota Quarterly and 2011 Visiting Artist at The University of Southern Mississippi.
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