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Poetry Winners

Empty the Chamber

Poetry - Third Place

By Dean John Smith | Posted 7/2/2003

Dad keeps a loaded
.357 Magnum on top
of his dresser.

At the firing range, he wipes
drug dealers off streets,
guns down intruders,

shows me paper targets
riddled with holes,
obliterated faces and hearts.

He grew up in this city,
will make someone
pay for its ruin.

I've felt his anger on my skin
know in real life
he will not hesitate.

He hears things at night,
crouches in boxer shorts,
points his weapon with both hands

at shadows from streetlamps.
"Feel the weight," he says.
I empty the chambers, run

hollow points through my fingers,
squeeze the trigger once,
hand back the gun.

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And the winners are... (12/2/2009)
City Paper's 11th annual Fiction and 10th annual Poetry Contest

An Airline Ticket to Romantic Places (12/2/2009)
First Place

What Was Janie Looking At? (12/2/2009)
Second Place

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