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Francis Bede

Freedom by Numbers


My gun and I meet. It’s for freedom.

I twirl it. Wait for it to stop spinning.

What is freedom? Kill myself.

Freedom number 1. Or not.

Freedom number 2. A choice.

I’m no philosopher. I like my gun.

I’m empowered. The authority.

My mouth is my gun barrel. Says it.

Freedom number 3. I get happy.

Warm like. I’m a Texas Ranger.

Fight crime. I’m Al Capone. Territorial.

I strut bandy legged like Sheriff Smith.

I’ll be Sheriff Smith. Freedom number 4.

Fight for justice. I believe in guns.

Thou shalt not kill. Wrote Moses.

A simple command. For the flock.

I’m simple. Guns for every good sheep.

Guns in good hands. For the righteous.

Solving problems. Freedom number 5.

I’m scared. Violence comes and comes.

In the culture. In movies. In video games.

My right to self-defense. Freedom number 6.

There are bad people out there.

When I shoot, I could be right.

I could be wrong. I could be Guano.

I am that chance. Freedom number 7.

Francis Bede lives and writes in Tasmania, Australia. He is the author of Bad Clergy–a question in five fantasies, its companion volume God in the Humane Machine–a theobiography, and Houdini Weaned on Fear–poems. His poems are published in magazines including StepAway Magazine, Terror House Magazine, Literary Heist, Oddville, Whimperbang, Cordite Review, Tinge Magazine, and Quadrant.

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