BULLETPROOF VEST

Poetry

We’re the only ones we / race against, we think. We speak / in tongues. We know that family / matters most. Bang, bang. “What will / we have today?” we ask / when we serve at oily restaurants.

Poetry by Colin Criss

We speak in tongues.
We call cardinals red, they sing
many different songs. We
sing songs: we enjoy
variety. Shows of it.
Singing, dancing, Lawrence Welk.
We make time for him:
Saturdays, 8pm on PBS. Bang, bang.
We love guns. All of us: We agree.
We run marathons when necessary,
when a message must be delivered.
Always 26.2 miles. Bang, bang.
We believe in democracy.
We march until we
are in sight of the finish line.
Then, it is a scramble and a lean—
we lean over the line, even when
we finish last. We race for time!
We’re the only ones we
race against, we think. We speak
in tongues. We know that family
matters most. Bang, bang. “What will
we have today?” we ask
when we serve at oily restaurants.
We hate “we-talkers.” We’ll have
the venison, no onions. What do we know
about ourselves? A deer that once
stood on the edge of a field.


Colin Criss lives in Moscow, Idaho, and teaches at Washington State University. He has an MFA in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis. His poems have also appeared, or will soon, in GRIST, Cagibi, Up North Lit, and the Harvard Advocate. He is from Old Forge, NY.
Connect with Colin on Twitter @colincriss and on Instagram @colincriss.

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