Palmetto State Armory’s Second Amendment Poetry Contest

In Revelations darkness holsters light,
yet prophets see a speck of what it veils:
the oil beneath a distant frack, the swift
ascent of saved amid the Whac-A-Mole
of damned, the schedule of inflated fees
in the fine print, in the scoundrel a saint?
Does faith mimic the ammo of acorns
          or the silencer of giardia?
Like snowflakes, do arms surrender their fire
when stroked by sunlight? Truth be told, I mess
my Bible up! By 18-something, Marx,
the commie, said day and night got so con-
fused folks had to consult the holy books.
Does dark precede the light or light the dark?

MICHAEL DOWDY is the author of Urbilly (Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award), Broken Souths (University of Arizona Press), and, as co-editor with Claudia Rankine, Poetics of Social Engagement (Wesleyan University Press). Recent work has appeared in Appalachian Review, Chicago Review, and Poetry. He teaches at the University of South Carolina.