WHEN BOTH MAYORS OF SAN FRANCISCO WERE KILLED

Anything can be a gun.

The sigh of an assassin’s bullets

is gun enough to make

all our flags fall halfway down.

The ocean’s mouth is another gun,

with another voice, each wave

another round of lush ammunition.

The stars make a wish on us

and silence is their wish.

Silence gets up from its

bed of perpetual noise, holds

its head above the living.

Silence insists

guns aren’t what they seem;

guns don’t say what they seem the say.

sleep is their main occupation,

long, mysterious sleep.

They wake with a short crack,

a quick blink of fire,

then smoke back to slumber.

We dream their nightmares for them,

trying not to know that

anything can be a gun

and any gun can foretell a future.

                                - Brown Miller