I once showed oilmen how to brighten their sheen—
taught nicotine pushers
tricks to blow smoke.
The stench of compromise
for cash, or first-class flights
like a shroud.
When mass shootings began,
bullet makers selling cop-killer ammo
Find the angle, they said.
Shareholders, Profit Margins.
And, there it was: Ethos staring me down—again.
The guys and me,
we scribbled on white boards
tossed words around—
one potato two potato…
I kept them what-if-ing perhaps-ing
one indefensible angle after another
until the cinderblock room grew cold,
and the bullet guys came to the just conclusion—
producing armor-piercing ammo.
Competitors saw the opening to grab
market share—hired a different image guy—
transformed their bird-of-prey logo into pastel-shaded bull’s-eyes.
Sales, they promised, would hit every target. Maybe more...