John Tustin

Hemingway’s Shotgun

I need Hemingway’s shotgun.
I need Dylan Thomas’ shot glass
Filled to the brim.
I need Bukowski’s Leukemia,
I need Anne Sexton to leave the car running.
I need a stein filled with heart attacks,
Strokes, aneurisms,
A robbery gone awry.

I need birds streaking across the sky
As I fall to the earth with a dull thud.
I need wolves tearing at my empty flesh
As the carrion-devourers 
Await their turn.
I need my words tossed unnoticed
Into a dumpster
When the sad little estate sale is over.

I need them to cry,
To think about me a decade later.
I need you to never recover from such a loss
Although you already dismissed me
Like a General too old, wise and senile
To lead more children into battle.

I need the affliction that would end me.
My hands are too shaky,
My mind too disabled
To load a shotgun
And aim.

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