“He Stared Down the Barrel of a Gun and He Saw Me” by Stephanie Luka

I watched you slide swiftly into the fog encapsulating
Eagle Junction railway station. Scraps of rust leaking with
oil-stained dew flung into the past, and in the faint glinting
of the sunlight on the stained train window, against the backdrop
of silver clouds passing us by, I saw, somehow, your
misty irises and stone coal coloured pupils, grime
and wet.

I saw, too, your name written alongside worrisome words
and drawings of drunk skulls on city walls and in knife-
like letters – it was an anagram of spit slick little songs,
lullabies meant for slightly translucent eyelids laced
with neonblue veins, eyelids too heavy to ever lift once

Then I heard over the sound of the crunching of copper
beneath me the slick creaking of your vocal chords – “do you wanna
kiss,” you said. “Maybe,” I said. I wanted to tell you some
things, but I wondered if they would fit well into your ears
(my mouth was so full).

I spit it out and showed you

nonetheless; a shovel, a disintegrating wooden stick with some
crumbling, fox-coloured metal stuck to it, indeed, was all I had to
offer. The digging was slow, the bled out skin of the Earth utterly reluctant
to be broken, and the cold treasure (found wrapped tightly inside a flat
tire) loaded and lethal. Your bleeding finger, lacking its nail, slid
up and down the unfriendly, smirk-like curvature of the trigger;

the blow that followed was of the gun
tumbling back down into the hole that laid there

like an open grave.


Stephanie Luka was born in 1997 to a Dutch mother and a Congolese father. She discovered her fascination with the arts only after quitting her career as a professional gymnast and entering the University of Amsterdam at the age of sixteen. Her work emanates mostly from dreams; it strives to acknowledge and interpret these fragmentary, illogical shards of truth, and make them into something that is a just a little more exoteric and relevant than they were before. Five of her poems have recently been published in the debut print issue of Allegory Ridge.

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