Said Gun Addresses the Needle Nose Gar

by Andrew Grace

I understand your need.
                                                  You’d devour me whole.
There is no reason to spare

whatever fits in your jaw,
shad, herring, your own young: all.

You stick to shallows,
test weed and rock-cluster,

live in worst water, clay and oil,
where the trout’s stomach fails.

                                                  I too know how to disappear.
I know to live off of leavings.

My ugliness has been lifted up and sung of.

Our justice is the same:
I too have been inspected
and judged deserving to die
                                                                on a scale made
of the twenty seven diminutive bones
in the human hand.

ANDREW GRACE’s manuscript-in-progress is titled The Last Will and Testament of Said Gun. Sections of the manuscript have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, Missouri Review, New England Review, Poetry Daily, Shenandoah, Guernica, 32 Poems, Poet Lore and The Paris-American. He teaches at Kenyon College.