At three thousand feet per second,
a two-twenty-three caliber bullet,
booming from the sniper’s Bushmaster XM-15
would complete its subtly arched trajectory,
thud through my cotton shirt and rice-paper hide,
splash into my blood-logged heart,
or custard-texture brain,
way before the sound of the shot
meandered the unfettered stretch
from its reptilian-still gun barrel
to my already dying ears.
Not a time for easily-stained,
white, button-down shirts, I think
while rifling through the closet,
listening to the radio for news of another kill.
An irrational thought; I know that.
Statistics are way in my favor.
The snipers’ jurisdiction swells each day,
already encompassing thousands of square miles,
and five million human anatomies.
He could off one of us
every day for ten years, every hour even,
And the chances that my white shirt
Will ever wick up my own bullet-loosed blood
Would never be better than yours.
©Ivan Amato 2002
Published in Potomac Review, Issue 37, Spring/Summer 2004