Arms by H.E. Fisher

             I went to a gun shop to buy pepper spray.
There were seven men in the store,

             and one missile—a letter that began
Dear Saddam white-painted on its body.

             One employee sat on a stool aiming
an assault rifle at an invisible target.

             Firearms lined the walls like guitars
at a music store. The salesman offered

             advice, said not to buy a sheath because
it takes too long to get the canister out,

             showed me how to flip the safety, pull
the trigger. I buy two for my daughter

             who wants protection on late night
trains in D.C. where she studies law.

H.E. Fisher is the author of the collection STERILE FIELD (Free Lines Press, 2022). Her chapbook, JANE ALMOST ALWAYS SMILES, is forthcoming from Moonstone Press (9/22). H.E.’s work has recently appeared in Whale Road Review, Indianapolis Review, Miracle Monocle, Longleaf Review, and Anti-Heroin Chic, among other publications. H.E. was awarded the 2019 Stark Poetry Prize in Memory of Raymond Patterson at City College of NY, was a finalist in the 2020-21 Comstock Review Chapbook Contest, and has been nominated for BOTN. H.E. is the editor of (Re) An Ideas Journal.