Colby Cotton

Elegy in Snow with Revolver and Busted Teeth

The gun was oiled, the chamber, empty,
and to prove it, you pressed the revolver
to my cheek, and click, click, click, nothing

happened. Birds shook ice from their wings
in the naked branches. Fishermen
cracked the surface of a frozen pond,

and when you turned the barrel to yourself,
I felt the bitter chew of busted teeth
in your crooked jaw, the metallic taste of light

driven down a steel line. The hammer struck
the firing pin. The cylinder turned on the pawl.
Click, click, click. And nothing happened.   

Colby Cotton is from a small town in western New York. He is currently an MFA candidate at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he has held the Fred Chappell fellowship in poetry. His work appears or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Meridian, The Adroit Journal, and Missouri Review, among others.