Spring 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 2 FictionApril 1, 1997 |

My Gun

I am thirty-eight, have straight teeth and good hygiene. When those from the thin-is-godly camp look me over like I should lose a pound or two, I tell them, "Sorry. I protect my roundness." Although I haven't yet tried to write a personals ad to attract somebody new, I think once I figured out the codes, I could come up with something punchy and tantalizing. Now that a year has passed since my husband's death, I start to think about such things. Lately, however, the question of whether or not I should buy my own gun seems to preoccupy me more than whether I should look for a new mate. I ask you, what kind of country is it where a woman finds herself considering a gun for a companion? When my husband was alive, the idea of owning and using a gun never occurred to me. I'm not even sure at this point why I feel myself inching toward the moment I'm actually forking over cash for a little snub-nosed silver something, dropping it into my purse, and walking out of this one particular g

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Tess Gallagher’s ninth volume of poetry, Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems, is out from Graywolf Press and from Bloodaxe Press in England. Other poetry includes Dear Ghosts, Moon Crossing Bridge, and Amplitude. Her A Path to the Sea, translations of Liliana Ursu’s by Adam Sorkin, Ms. Gallagher and Ms. Ursu came out September 2011. Gallagher’s The Man from Kinvara: Selected Stories was published in fall 2009. In 2008 Blackstaff Press in Belfast published Barnacle Soup—Stories from the West of Ireland, a collaboration with the Sligo storyteller Josie Gray, available in the US from Carnegie Mellon. Distant Rain, a conversation with the highly respected Buddhist nun, Jacucho Setouchi, of Kyoto, is both an art book and a cross-cultural moment.

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Heart-Mirror

By Tess Gallagher

I am thirty-eight, have straight teeth and good hygiene. When those from the thin-is-godly camp look me over like I should lose a pound or two, I tell them, "Sorry. […]

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