I want to buy a gun.
Maybe it’s something I’ll never need,
but there’s a cold comfort in steel
and the physics of force.
These people are being pushed
beyond the bounds
of paranoia, a plastic bag
pulled taut to a face
then twisted, and twisted again.
The cities are shutting down,
one by one, the book stores
are shuttering, closing their doors.
In Las Vegas, the casinos are quiet,
all those slot machines, silent,
cards set stacked, unshuffled on felt,
no clicking plastic chips, no marbles
skittering spinning roulette wheels.
Even the prostitutes are lonely tonight.
At Walmart, the apocalypse
is out of stock, entire aisles of shelves
shopped barren and bare,
while a customer starts singing
to the absence of canned goods:
we all live in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine,
and I wonder what the rioters will chant,
what their faces might express
in the torchlight as they near,
that sound of shattering plate glass
like laughter wrapped in kerosene,
and a question on pursed wet lips:
are you worth your weight in water?