from In the Gun Cabinet

Mike Lala

In the gun cabinet, the bodies you inhabit through your life

                                            stand up like guns inside the doors.

They open, the present, flickering, takes you

                             as if by a chain as those bodies form a V

                                                            behind you

               a hand pulls a drawer by a drawer-pull, all

                             its lit-up workings applying a lexicon

glittering, like eyeshadow

                               inside the walls, as

                a woman in a white dress

                                comes to you in a room

                the curtains drawn

& stagelights beside them

                               (you’re searching

                                                 for something—you dont know)

 saying, “In the beginning,”

                & she takes down a curtain

                                             & hands it to you

                                heavy & bright

& all of a sudden

                                there, in the foreground

               the person you’d become, in relief against a shadow

the object you’d searched for

                               the word for that

which you had no name

               & by looking, found


a thief

leather gloves

pulled on

you reach in

the drawer

like an eye

your hand

a tongue