Friday, November 21, 2008
I Wouldn't Stand
Close lightning cracks, and you flinch, you can't stop yourself.
You know it.
The shock rips a hole from your brain, between your shoulder blades, down to the meat of your calves.
You contract. Your hot wired body. The ripped hole is squeezed shut.
I flinched when the gun boomed, and bark exploded off the tree. Pieces stung my cheek. Clung to my hair. The rifle, like the slam of lightning.
Was I bleeding? Something felt tickle-watery, like I was bleeding.
I could run to the next tree.
Or the next.
But he's so close. Why didn't I run and not stop? He might not hit me. Not in these tress.
Another boom and flinch.
This time the bullet hit solid tree. My skull thumps. Fucking hurts. The impact flashed right through the wood where my head rested.
Footsteps in the leaves now.
The metal clack, clack of the rifle reloaded.
I could run.
But I don't want the lightning in the back. Not knowing.
Not knowing where.
I used to think about people being marched to die. Regular people. Knowing it, but desperately believing anything. After walking, in a line facing the guns, crumpling in genocide, just standing there. Just fucking standing there, waiting to take theirs.
No way, I thought. Too much white hot anger.
Never let some fucker march me there, make me stand. My eyes already fading to milk and shadows.
By God I'd go down with a mouthful of them. I'd fight.
But then, the rifle clears the tree.
And the glint of a scope.
I don't even raise my head enough to catch his eyes. My legs twisted in the ferns don't fight.
I don't taste blood. Curling in the stare of the barrel.
No savage fingernails and teeth.
Dead leaves rasp with my shaking. My hands reach to push away the barrel.
I choke on the last of my air.