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  • Gary Hunter

BB Gun over the door - Dec. 30, 2020

returning with the dogs one morning and looking through the sliding door I see a large white bird with something orange in its beak - my prized goldfish shouting unholies with arms nearly unhinged I almost crash through the glass between us as I rush outside it drops its catch into the pool on takeoff and lands on the roof next door and cocks its head one eye on me the other on an unfinished breakfast the fish sinks to the bottom and lays on its side I grab the weapon and ladder up to the roof one BB means a single shot a lone projectile of anger a solitary round of revenge I exhale and slowly so very slowly pull the trigger pop and the pebble of my fury speeds on its way direct hit ayee ayee the egret wails half-flapping one wing my sunbathing neighbor yells from his lounge hey what’s going on? while I explain I see it dance up and over the ridge of his house and out of sight when I’m back on the ground the bird is nowhere to be found I return to my pool scoop out his still breathing fish-body scarred and slick in my hands and slip it back into the pond

he lives nearly a week then floats to the surface dead the egret’s ending remains murky days later a report of seeing a tall white bird limping down the street the shameful recollection of pursuing an eye for an eye doesn’t let go as I lay in bed and gaze at the gun above the door dust no doubt has covered my fingerprints though evidence of the deed exists elsewhere definitely in the dream that often wakes me in the dead of night


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