Final Scenes by David Chorlton

I am not a silent poet

The way the villain spins,

one boot heel spitting dust and the other

already on a trajectory

toward the afterlife, as he drinks

a final gulp of sky

and pays for his transgressions is

delightful entertainment, as surely

as the speed impresses

of the draw and shot that brings him down.

Even the blast

that takes a staggering ne’er-do-well

when he’s three-quarters dead

with one bullet left

is a pleasant distraction. And the body

falling from a horse in a splash of blood

cannot fail to please

when the rider deserved all he got and more.

It’s as much a pleasure

to see the ice across a man’s eyes

as he spreads his fingers in anticipation

with his palm an inch

from his holster as it is to watch the long

black coat another wears

billow in the silent breeze that portends

his demise. There goes

the survivor, walking down…

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