Trauma Guide to gunshot wounds II

when i was young · my mother said · i could be anything · i wanted · so that night · i prayed ·

Father, please make me · both the bullet · and the finger · on the trigger · both the distance ·

and the distance vanishing · in breaths · holding veins together · by my fingertips · my heart ·

pumping my body weak · breaking apart · what should hold together · exorcising what could ·

remain haunted · this means that · to let the lead · tear out through your side · is to discover

how much more · it hurts · to let go · than it does · to hold on · to any killing object · kind

enough · to let you catch it slow · to let you crucify · yourself gentle · to be your own merciful ·

executioner · that says · you can have · anything you want · as long · as you pretend · that a

weapon · could be something · other · than what it was · or do anything · other than for what ·

it was made · and isn’t that · love · after all? · isn’t it what · we were thought · was worth dying·

for? · the chance to gather · your breath in your fist · and press the gunshot · to your body · like

a lover · begging it not · to leave you · again? · but ask the right saint · and he’ll tell you · that

death always comes · more than once · that every wound · like regret · is both itself · and its

reflection · that like an arrow · buried holy · to the hilt · fletching scraping · at the collarbone ·

an archer going to his knees · for violence · and violence alone · it doesn’t matter what kills you ·

just that something · does · like this · each body · sings its own song · of agony · a memory · of

the myth · that what cruelty · puts into you · it must somehow · take out again.

Yves Olade is a history student living in the south of England. Published in Kingdoms in the Wild, the Glass Journal, and others, he also has a chapbook called Bloodsport (2017). An avid documentary fan, Yves loves mobile games, evenings, and 2000s music. You can find him at yvesolade.tumblr.com.