Skeet

by Wyatt McMurry

The box buzzes and kaplunks rearranging
itself inside—like a cicada wriggling its soft body
before molting.
The spinning disk twists my hair into eddies.
I have never held a shotgun. I raise the barrel, feel
the butt in my shoulder solid like
a horse’s skittish butt. You have to
forget you are not the gun you
hold he told me, forget your
fingers do not live in the stock’s
soft nook.
Kick back come cries: the pull
ache and bang, the puddle of afterglow
as the disk dissolves into the magic
pepper of my father’s approval.
“Dusted! Dusted!
First damn try!”
To speak as I was then
before I had words to fence in the dark stud
farms of my heart
it was clear I had touched something
dire and old
as I imagined the Sahara to be.
I watched on TV, terrified by the prettiness
of it, lions moving their slow
haunches so close so recognizable
that even their claws could have been my own.

Wyatt McMurry is from Louisville, Kentucky, and is double majoring in Literature and Creative Writing at Eckerd College. He has six cats, three dogs, and two horses.