Prop Gun by Nicole Caruso Garcia

Prop Gun

          Most props are ordinary objects. –Wikipedia

For authenticity, you choose this heartless
    killer. Believe, if managed right, he’ll be
        quite tame in hand, while feral as a mustang.
Although for art you trust him to be artless,
    what whiskey cast as whiskey sips like tea?
            He’s not a rattlesnake you can defang,

but only milk his venom. Such mystique
    surrounds him, yet he can’t pretend, now, can he?
          Don’t ask who’ll be forgiven, who will hang.
What is this “prop gun” of which you speak,


Nicole Caruso Garcia is the author of Oxblood (Able Muse Press, 2022), which was named a finalist for the Able Muse Book Award and the Richard Wilbur Award for Poetry. Her work appears in Best New Poets 2021, DIAGRAM, Crab Orchard Review, Light, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, The Orchards, PANK, Plume, The Raintown Review, Rattle, RHINO, Sonora Review, Spillway, and Tupelo Quarterly. She serves as Associate Poetry Editor at Able Muse and an Advisory Board member at Poetry by the Sea: A Global Conference. Visit her at

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