He Held a Gun to My Temple… – Rita Coleman

. . . grinning like a demon his scruffy beard revealing teeth algae’ed with scum
­         layers of dirt and sweat holding his leather and denim in place
a steely smell, the hard barrel, a warm gun (it was tucked in his pants),
­         all in the back seat of my father’s 1960 blue Buick Century.

The man who’d brought me to this party–clean-shaven, smelling good
        stood just outside, his back to the half-open window of the big monster car
ignoring the inside where his brother in denim, his brother in motorcycles,
        pinned my face in his lap, scraping my chin as he unzipped his pants.

I couldn’t call his bluff because he had none; he wanted what he wanted–now
        I didn’t know him, I didn’t know the man outside my father’s car.
All I knew is that I might not live if I didn’t open my mouth and put my lips to him
        Gun barrel pressed harder against my head, trigger finger ready, ready.

Forcing back the gag that threatened to close my throat I knew what to do,
        as inexperienced as I was, yet the few minutes of hellbound sex were enough
For him to collapse into a groan, his trigger finger relaxed, the gun still at my temple
        My mouth filled, my jaws aching, my eyes flickering with lightbursts.

I swallowed, leather crackled as he shifted mixing sweat with his liquored breath
        He lowered his weapon and lifted my chin as gently as if he’d been a true lover,
And he smiled with the satiated sweetness of release, stroking my hair as if
        I had been a willing partner in the game he had designed and played.

I smiled–what else was there to do?–and moved slowly away from him.
        He rose, cradling me with his free arm, motioning for me to open the door.
He push-kicked it open with his boot, tucked his gun in the front of his pants
        and we emerged from blackness to a night whose stars had shifted.


Rita Coleman is a graduate of Wright State University with a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. A former journalist and freelance writer, she is retired from university teaching. She has written one volume of poetry, Mystic Connections, described in a Kirkus review as “deeply felt.”