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  • Tyler Bauer

bullet holes in a saguaro

somewhere just outside the oven that is Tucson Arizona

there is a patch of land that some still like to call the wild west

though truth is it was tamed and domesticated long ago

beat into submission before being chopped up to bits by butchers

in slaughterhouses of fine mahogany desks and plush carpet floors

where men sit in air-conditioned rooms with John Wayne pictures

staring at the cowboy decorations collected in life

and their youth when they dreamed of this desert land

playing cowboys and Indians with the neighbor kids

fighting over who got to be Clint Eastwood and who had to be Geronimo

they imagined it as a place of shooting six shooters from horseback

and spitting mouthfuls of tobacco juice into a pan


then they grew up,

as kids do

and learned they could always be Clint Eastwood

now they chew their tobacco and spit it into mountain dew bottles

unloading assault rifles into the face and arms of unsuspecting saguaros

pretending it's a duel at high noon with a six shooter instead


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