Nikki Moustaki is the recipient of a 2001 NEA grant in poetry and is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Writing Poetry.  She has been published in many national journals, holds an M.A. in poetry from NYU, and an M.F.A. in poetry from Indiana University. On the future of the "Fuck You" poem, she writes: "Well, fuck you too! Oh, and please buy my book."






Extremely Lightweight Guns

                    I don't like makin' money, I just love sellin' guns
                                –Don, of Don's Guns, Bloomington, Indiana

Literally no recoil, and if the steel is cold, I don't know it. If bullets taste like gardenias, like tongues, like bathwater or greasy fingers, wine flow-ithing over in my tin field cup, I don't know it. I don't like makin' money, I just love sellin' guns. I ache all day for a smooth-bore shot; I'm a hammer-cocker, trigger-friendly, barrel-ready-slide that slide and make the sight sure-I want the longest operating rod you got. I want to stare down that dark pill, find my mark, carry the pheasant home. Don't give me no three-fingers-to-the-left-aim-high-aim-low: I respect your right to not carry, you respect my right to. When I was seven I lifted my dress for a boy's bee-bee muzzle. At fifteen chased by a pack of sexy Cubans wielding pistolas. At twenty, the United States Marine and his heavy M60. I have an ivory two-shot in my panties drawer, a loaded revolver under my downy pillow, and at the pawnshop, a rack fuller than a pin-up calendar. I'll mail 'em unmarked if you ask. I got a modern Howitzer out back, you can rock that cradle for a couple bucks. But it's not the money. There's nothing sexier than the Bill of Rights. Well, maybe an old cannon with a full wad and a wooden rammer. How do bullets taste? Some say gardenias, tongues, bathwater, greasy fingers, deep red wine flowing over in your cup. A bullet's core snapping into point, your mother's sweet voice. The shot recoiling into your hands, the pitch in your legs after a father's belt. Pull it again. The real impact, again. I've got steel between my teeth. My dentist loves me. The neighbors hate me. I ask the guns every day, fuck me.