Bullet Stains

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Contributor: Nicole Hampton

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You never expect to actually see it
You go to matinées and
are morbidly obsessed by it
While you eat your fifteen dollar popcorn
Crunch, gunshots, crunch, screams

When you first see the blood
After that show seen long ago
It’s sort of like the movies
Except you’re the one breaking
Wetting your face with hot surrender
Shutting down like a computer
Dropping to your knees
Shrinking away from this world

Someone close to you may die
The blood is a horror scene
The blood is a horror seen
You don’t know why they’re being so calm
How can they stand this room,
Unpurposfully painted red
The color is aggravating to the eyes
As well as the heart

He lives
But the seasons in him have changed
Bright summer
Now a permanent fall into
The lonely cold of winter

A wet sheen shaping his face for the first time
Dare he live to tell this tale that haunts him
You almost wish you had a horrible life full of pain
Just so you can take in this moment better
As if there is some appropriate way
To see a friend mistakenly shot
Bullets zipped through tough skin
So easily
You didn’t think it’d be that easy
How you wish you’d have been prepared
Numbed up by the Orajel of lost lives

You bring him Su-Do-Ku and magazines
A symbol of his survival
Play some games and get better!
Math and Kim Kardashian will cure you
Heal all those holes in you
It’ll all be better

The season has changed
The trees are bare
Sun and floral flew away
Bare trees and snow are what remains
His life force stripped from him by bullets
Coming out a permanent dark cherry on the upholstery

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