and he says Oliver says I didn’t have a gun

before the rubble before the painting was moved and he had buried the body weighing it down that winter in the frozen thaw of Devil’s Kitchen my partner (or his partner or what was formerly his partner until he stole that car for which he didn’t want no reward or return guess he kinda liked being behind the wheel of that one) and not just him but his woman maybe she knew too much maybe she handled the accounts I don’t know but both bodies with bullets to the head and then rope and stone and the white placid flesh disappearing beneath the brown churn of driftwood some of it floating but most of it like fingers fragile ready to crack and crunch under the layer of ice suspended there just showing above the surface like some monster from down below had vomited it up and it lay suspended there the driftwood unable to sink back down beneath the cracked ice I watched I watched from up above the shoreline where the naked trees did not cease the buffet of the heavy winds

and I watched I watched as then too because I didn’t have a gun

I wasn’t in the picture because I couldn’t shoot and she sometimes laughed or was humiliated or both because one time I shot I shot every round in that clip aiming at empty cans and bottles resting on fence posts I fired til every round was gone and I didn’t hit a thing I missed every can every bottle and after the noise of the very last recoil there was just men’s laughter and her humiliation like my humiliation my expurgated virility when she waited and the desire was not there. The desire was not no passion but I still taste her languid lips I smell her hair all spilled out underneath me the firmness of her naked thigh spread the soft valley between her breasts the stale sweat of her skin covered by the bedroom mist of her perfume and I see her face in the moonlight the wet down of hair above her lip as her tongue darts out that shade to her eyes a cast a demeanor to them which if there were words would say I am here all that I am this body this flesh and I give so that you may be in debt and in these eyes I know they say I give but I don’t know if you will be able to repay for how how do you take from nothing and come away saying This has been mine?

then the denial the disgust and when your body is gone from me the desire in all its hunger and I say in my aloneness in my need Has not all this happened before?