Stand Her Ground

for Donna Castleberry

One hundred pounds

eight bullets

twenty-three years old

eight bullets

two babies

eight bullets

eleven thirty AM

eight bullets

no escape route

eight bullets

thirty-year veteran

eight bullets

seventh body

eight bullets

infinite silence

eight bullets

the proposition // the trust // the backseat with him on one side // the door up against a wall on the other // the warrant // his gun // at home the hungry mouths // his gun // the child-safe locks // his gun // his hot breath // every man’s hot breath // his gun // not even the scent of cheap air fresheners // the stained upholstery // his gun // the request // his gun // memory of steel bars // the plea // his gun // her self-defense // his reaction // her end // his gun // any being cornered will fight back // & her teeth already dull from repeated use // his gun // the history // his gun // all of history // his gun // his gun // his gun // his gun // his gun //