Hoping for the Best Prepared Me For The Worst

The optimist in me
becomes an optometrist of
negativity
and under
duress all my tired eyes
can suggest is
to prepare for

the worst,
my love, or
hope for the best.

This is the wild
west of short
sight
edness,
a chemical
unrest of colour,

where everyone’s either
playing hunters or
the prey.

And across red
wastes I’ve circumnavigated
burning caravans,
plundered graves,
men of
the law who turned out as
bad as
the bandits they blamed.

I avoided old haunts
and rumored treasure,
fables
and legends constructed
to serve small
measures of humility.

But I was
only human,
tethered to killing what
ever redemption entered
my saloon,

vigilante on
the loose.

I could see
my face in
his boots,

a spit
shined
smirk.

Us two outside
at noon,
I said- loser’s
the sucker that gets
shot first.

His bullets
broke my skin but
my bullet pierced

his neck.

Nobody
taught me to
fire this
gun of mine.

I just
prepared for
the worst and hoped
for the
best.

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