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Pandora's Bullet
Aaron D. Wiegert

Here, she can identify as man or woman, slayer or slain.
Entering from the immortal womb, its ease, its boon, 
she soon felt the prick of pins, the gooseflesh of Fate,
reflected in every apple's eye. 

Upon the mantle of gods, she found a chest of pine, 
Within: the contents of ages, eras and generations.

She plucked from it the first fatal projectile
and made an inscription, on a scale short of illegible:

dear mortal, 

we exist in the fractional range of terrestrial planets, 
within a single-sun system, no matter the content of our rage...

But the scribes were threatened with castration, with four-
horse stretching, to divine upon the land another epigram:

And if your hate is so great that you desire to fire more
than a customary handful of any velocity projectile, curiosity
can be sated by whatever destructor catches your eye. 

Such a Siva is a coveted avatar, no matter who or what lay dead, 
it's deemed to possess a sporting bent, (silently) for war, and
if you can't wait for such a device, one can be fashioned
from what you may already own. 

In the aftermath of a low-moan massacre, the god-given reaction is fear, 
not of a copycat killer, but that the long arm of Law will tread indiscriminate
where freedom has flourished, timeless and unobserved, to wipe clean
the stone tablet of our Amendments. 

But on the otherside, eitherside, complacent or uncertain sides, 
we shroud our consent in the right to die by way of outburst, 
by virtue of impulse, that the blind scales coldly weigh
as greater than the count of a classroom. 

What must have begun with mortals as subjects
of vigilante justice, as a stride toward unbridled conquest, 
has given birth to the automatic expansion of an imaginary West. 

Not the bullet ridden bodies of  MLK, JFK, Lennon
Or Lincoln, could restrain us in any meaningful way, 
so we withhold the one question at hand:
What chance do you or your child stand?

Aaron Wiegert has penned two chapbooks, Evil Queen (2013) and The Last Railroad Spike (2016), both from Budget Press. His work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies throughout the U.S. as well as Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, Austria, and Nigeria.