a twitch
of a finger
speeds hot lead
through skin and bone
to burst a heart
life oozing to gray
the equalizer
the peacemaker
easy executioner
no judge
no jury
the burning ricochet
cuts us all down
mockeries of truth
of brotherhood
what might have been
no fear
no corpse
no twitch


Blaise Kielar received Honorable Mention in the 2022 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize for an excerpt from his memoir in progress, "Be Heard: The Quiet Kid Who Started the World’s Loudest Violin Shop." He opened Chapel Hill’s first violin shop in 1978 and retired from a music retail career by transitioning Electric Violin Shop into the first worker-owned co-op music store in the United States. He plays jazz violin and clarinet in several bands and leads the Bulltown Strutters, Durham’s community New Orleans brass band.