You took spent shotgun shells down
from the shelf, filled them to the lip
with blent black powder, hot-glued
fuses into their mouths to shut them up.
Even as a boy I knew their power.
Like clockwork, each time the well
clogged, you’d take one, spark it
with your cigarette, toss the screaming
charge into its closed throat. I imagined
the ribbed plastic casing bursting
at the middle in white-hot strobe.