A Short History of Marriage

Jennifer Chang

A gun is an instrument of articulation: Glory be 

the backyard travesty, orange grass and ochre leaves. My gun

is not my gun, but it is

a kind of being: my word, one may care

to carry it. The sky falls

with my paper lantern and my hallelujah pain—why delay

violence that must rage and exclaim

and grow old? Deny the trigger

or be the trigger: hurry before the war ends. Hurry

before I love again. There must be an image

to console the reader during her reading season,

which is a grief of too much language. When

I first wrote this poem, I was more than one word:

And now? It is midnight. I have guns, but no target.