I was alone in the old house, emptying out
the drawers. There in the buffet in the dining room,
where he used to keep his Sen-Sen and
his wide collection of working and nonworking flashlights,
was my father’s gun. Not his gun, but my grandfather’s
or great-grandfather’s gun, the one I’d heard about
for years, the one my father used to take out in the car
with him when he made house calls, then hid somewhere
in the garage. Not a Luger, after all, but a Mauser,
wooden-handled and antique. So I aimed it at the floor
and pulled the trigger and was stunned to hear
the hard, flat sound of an explosion in my ears, to smell
the peppery gunpowder smell, to see the long brown scar
the bullet dug in my mother’s carpet. Yes,
it’s me again, still here, still doing something wrong.