Caliber

Jenifer Browne Lawrence


I want to pretend
the hole in the plaster
is not from a bullet—

the ricochet missed
and our newborn slept 
through the noise—

or at least not a bullet from your .38 
not your hand shouting 
down the barrel

not your fingers
hiding the new
opening in your body

refusing to let
the bad blood


Jenifer Browne Lawrence is the author of Grayling (Perugia Press, 2015) and One Hundred Steps from Shore (Blue Begonia Press, 2006). Awards include the Perugia Press Prize, the Orlando Poetry Prize, and the James Hearst Poetry Prize. Her work appears in Bracken, Cincinnati Review, The Coachella ReviewLos Angeles Review, Narrative, North American Review, and elsewhere. Jenifer edits the Seattle-based journal, Crab Creek Review. Of the work published in Collateral, she writes, “My family has a long history of military service dating back to World War I, and continuing through many wars and conflicts since then. These poems are part of a manuscript-in-progress exploring the effects of war on intimate relationships.”