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Excerpt from I HAVE A GUN photo

though often 

linked because 

those who live 

by its teachings 

carry complex 

pieces of metal

used to kill 

there are no guns 

in the Bible 

there are 

some swords 

pointless deaths

reverse crucifixions 

eternal damnation

a flood

beheaded cousins 

tons of incest 

both good and bad

but at no point 

does God say 

to a golden calf

eat lead bitch”

on the 8th day 

he doesn’t 

invent Smith 

or Wesson 

or Remington

or Winchester

it’s Adam and Eve

not Kalashnikov and Stoner

in the Bible

when Moses casts 

down his staff 

it doesn’t 

become a six shooter

Pharaoh never 

makes his sorcerers 

turn their rods into 

more fucking guns

the Bible is 

mostly uninteresting 

and what you expect

especially the parts 

about marriage 

and sex and sin 

all the verses 

public figures 

use to trash 

how and who people fuck 

are boring 

the Bible should

get its shit together

there should be 

better laws 

inspired by 

Biblical stories 

like no one should 

go to jail for killing 

their brother 

if God loves him more

or luxury condos

must be built

to tabernacle standards

or full stops

should be outlawed

in favor of ands

and all narcs

must be paid in silver

and when a new law is passed

politicians have to wash their hands

clean of the old way of life 

and I forget my point.

I’m saying what if 

the Bible had guns 

the New Testament

could be less about

Jesus’ restorative love

for humanity and more

about shooting a fucking gun

that’s how he fed the multitudes

he mounted a .50 caliber Browning

to a rock in Bethsaida

and held the 5000 hostage

don’t call the cops”

Jesus told them

ACAB” he said

with the machine gun pointed

at their collective head

here’s what we’re going to say”

it’s a miracle 

they all listened

Jesus spent two days 

oiling his .357 Magnum

before finding Lazarus 

in Bethany and shooting 

the sickness out of his sleepy ass

all of that and more and

Thomas still says, “I need to see

those bullet holes J-man”

and Big J was like, “I have felt

the wrath of God’s gun barrel 

put your hand here and believe”

and Thomas felt Jesus’ hands

and they were hot

ow fuck they’re hot”

and Jesus agreed that it was so

that’s what I told you, dude” 

and I guess just to wrap it up

the Bible could end

with letters 

to groups of people 

who preferred sabers

or verbal de-escalation

or some other dumb shit

over a scalding hot

big veiny gun 

signed XOXOXO

with Xs of shotgun

double barrels crossed 

and Os of targets on 

the backs of non believers

that’s a Bible I would read

and I did try to read 

the normal boring gunless Bible 

to see if it ever got good 

or to see if I could feel God 

maybe enough to want a different kind of gun 

but the Bible never gets good 

there’s so much nothing 

then the nothing repeats seven times

which doesn’t prove anything 

it doesn’t mean God isn’t real 

or Christians are braindead 

or “Science and Liberalism” 

are the only commendable social tenets

it just means the Bible is boring 

and I’m asking what if it wasn’t? 

because I need the Bible to be more interesting

because I don’t want the most memorable

part of this poem to be

Stephen Willeford, on November 5, 2017,

chasing Devin Patrick Kelley

through Texas with an AR-15

after Kelley killed 26 members

of the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church

because if the Bible was more interesting

I could wrap my head around

a Texas gun club thanking Willeford

with a brand new AR-15


He is God’s servant

for your good. But

if you do wrong, be afraid,

he does not bear

the sword in vain.

He is the servant of God,

an avenger who carries out

God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

or if there were guns in the Bible 

it might explain the difference between

Devin Patrick Kelley’s Ruger AR-556

and Stephen Willeford’s AR-15

when did one become an avenger

and the other a wrongdoer

and is God’s biggest complaint

that Kelley murdered those people in vain

and how can a guy

not naming names

looking to buy a gun

know which models

have the correct type of wrath

but the Bible is a boring book

written before the invention

of tragic irony and

like almost everything else

it’s just a metaphor

about being terrified

* * *

God is a gun that gets you into heaven and Jesus is a gun you never have to shoot and the Bible is a gun safe shaped like a gun shooting gun shaped bullets that make people less evil or more evil depending on who gets shot and a church is a type of shooting range and I’m starting to get it now