Beige covers everything, conceals
the secret guns. Yellow jackets
fester in the wall behind
yucca trees, buzz inside
the sandstone interior.

He liked to gamble, and owned
no more weapons than his neighbors.

One of those local guys,
he kept his lawn tidy. No
hairs out of place, sanpaku eyes
downcast. His father on the FBI
most wanted list, bank robber dead
many years. Firearms kept locked
inside a safe. Permits secured,
all purchases legal. He checked

into the casino with ten bags.
No one noticed the tell-tale
bulges, the squirming of fingers.

He walked past the flashing lights, towards
his temporary room, smashed
the windows, and pulled the trigger
a few times to make everything die.
Satisfied, he pressed a gun
against his own head and
joined his father, who waited patiently
on the other side of the barrel.

Meanwhile, his house shuttered
and barricaded. Girlfriend
on the other side of the world, wondering
how to explain all those weapons.
A few stray gamblers
linger at the casino, cocktails
in hand. Survivors, hardy as cacti,
they feed quarters into the slot machine,
still hoping for the jackpot.

me in Paris.jpg

Leah Mueller is an indie writer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of two chapbooks, “Queen of Dorksville” (Crisis Chronicles Press), and 'Political Apnea' (Locofo Chaps) and three books, “Allergic to Everything” (Writing Knights Press), 'Beach Dweller Manifesto' (Writing Knights Press), and “The Underside of the Snake” (Red Ferret Press). Leah was a winner in the 2012 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, and a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival. Her work appears in Blunderbuss, Outlook Springs, Memoryhouse, Atticus Review, Remixt, Your Impossible Voice and many other magazines and anthologies.