“Deus Le Colt,” a poem by Nancy Hightower


Deus Le Colt

After the lone wolf Judas
has killed himself,
believing he disrupted

the status quo
here’s how the script will play out
here’s how the words will leave your mouth:

White men in the West: We need guns to hunt for food
White men in the East: We need guns to protect our families
Women and children trace

the pattern of bulletholes on their bodies.
This is the script
Pastors: Our thoughts and prayers are with you

Evangelicals: We wrestle not with flesh and blood
Tell me, which finger pulled the trigger?
which one did Thomas thrust

into the wound of Christ?              
White people:
Look at black on black crime in Chicago.           

We need assault rifles and riot gear.
Oh, daughter of Babylon,
repent before we shoot

your children in the back as they run away.                   
The National Rifle Association:
Let justice roll down like the waters.

Meanwhile my father holes up in his Texas compound
because the end is coming,
because Christ is returning,

because something is slouching its way
through America
just as the hurricanes foretold

and the earthquakes proclaimed.
His arsenal is polished daily
in the hope of Armageddon.

Nancy Hightower has been published in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Entropy, Sundog Lit, Word Riot, storySouth, and Gargoyle, and HuffPost. From 2014-2016, she reviewed science fiction and fantasy for The Washington Post. She is the author of The Acolyte (poetry, Port Yonder Press, 2015), and is currently working on a book about digital storytelling with Paul D. Miller for Duke University Press, as well as a memoir about growing up in the evangelical South.

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