“AR-15,” a poem by Gabriel Welsch

A reason to burn the newspapers.
Arrive to work in tears from hearing the

Ardent words of parents on the radio immolating any
Arguments about the right time, the right

Areas to debate. Yearn for when the world ignites
Ardor. Every few minutes

Arch your back, deny the screen, roll your
Arms to get the blood flowing properly. Watching

Armies of vans and news cameras in their
Armada as they hunger for sorrow’s acrid

Aroma is not good for your health, for our health
Around a nation splintering into flavors of cardiac

Arrest, the start-stop cycle. This is for empathy an act of
Arson, a burning too familiar, what we say so much tinder,

Arid in our blackening forest, in our grip, in our barrel.

 

 

***

Gabriel Welsch is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being The Four Horsepersons of a Disappointing Apocalypse (Steel Toe Books, 2013). In addition to appearing previously in Heavy Feather Review and its #NotMyPresident site, his fiction, poetry, and reviews have appeared in journals including Georgia Review, Southern Review, Harvard Review, Missouri Review, and on Verse Daily and in Ted Kooser’s column “American Life in Poetry.” He lives in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, with his family, works as vice president of strategic communication and marketing at Juniata College, and is an occasional teacher at the Chautauqua Writer’s Center.

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