American Triptych

by Gary Hardaway

The First Asshole

He asserted his dominance,
raised his sharpened stick,
and growled others of the tribe
into glum acquiescence. His
descendants, brandishing
variations of the stick and growl,
have exercised dominion ever since.

They Invented the Guillotine
as a Humane Way to Execute

It's always fun and easy
to punish the poor

for everybody hates them
especially themselves.

It's harmless sport
like shooting

sparrows and grackles
with a pellet gun

as they land in trees
inside your fenced back yard

as the new pubic hair
begins to tickle your balls.

Let the Shit Get Real

For the love of guns,
surely they would love

to swallow point blank barrels
and their lead ejaculates-

an ecstatic

in the marketplace
of right through might.