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My Ex Scared Me

by Tara Carnes

enough to buy a gun

a patient friend

taught me to shoot


my hands shook so much

the shot patterns

skittered off





I took home his targets instead

human outlines with

the brains and balls

skillfully pierced in a shot pattern

the size of a quarter


I carefully

tucked them

in the recycling bin

with just a few tantalizing





my neighbor and I

watched through the blinds

that evening

as my ex snooped through

the bin (as was his habit)


the look on his face

when he pulled out the targets


About the Author

Tara L. Carnes is a musician, composer, poet, teacher and spiritual director. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas (M.A.), and the Haden Institute’s program in spiritual direction. Tara’s poetry has appeared in The Poetry Box, Snapdragon, Big Windows Review, SageWoman Magazine, Cholla Needles and Presence Journal. She lives in Houston, TX.

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