A Visit To The Shooting Range
by Mary Chandler Philpott
With a gun in my hands I am the least powerful version of myself that has ever existed. I quake and flinch. My hands shake. I cannot bear to keep my eyes open as I pull the trigger.
(When am I powerful?
My power will never look like that. It is a different breed. My power is quiet and watchful. It has big eyes; it lurks and retreats, retreats to think, and be alone. My power is feminine, it is a soft-bellied thing. It sits in a wooden chair, knees curled up to its chest. It hurts and aches and longs and is dissatisfied. It holds those feelings with hands that are steady, steady, steady, eyes clear — and shapes them into something that can be understood.)
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Mary Chandler Philpott is an MA student at the University of Virginia. She currently lives in Manassas with her fiancé Brandon and their puppy Edward Rochester.