Poetry Suite by Nicole Miyashiro

Editor Carrie Ivy, Poetry, March 6th, 2017

"...his feet suspended by belts he never owned, knotted..."

Nicole Miyashiro Poetry Nailed Magazine


Controlling a Gun


To practice
controlling a gun, he taught her
to pull
her little fingers through the ground
barehanded, to claw
the dribbling dirt crying
past her fingertips. He taught her
to blast
one palm of soil
atop another to build a pile and clear
a fresh space
at the same time.
It was tricky
but with the right stance, the right
balance she might protect
the new grave
from being used or she might

A nine-year-old girl getting an Uzi lesson misfires and kills her instructor.

Arizona, Aug 25, 2014

+ + +

Gun in a Card Shop


Embossed hearts, slapped red,
tip on the shelf, our messages

closed inside. A lover continues
down our gloss & curly

font. We want to scream
but are folded paper. Only

sympathy cards are printed
for this. Us valentines cringe:

For Wife, For Husband,
For Both. We all try to forget his

selective eye, his intentions –
Warm, displaced – now an occasion

to cry, but our letters would melt
to pulp if we did.

A teenager opens fire in a mall on Valentine’s Day.

Salt Lake City, Utah, 2007

+ + +

Tamir Rice, 12, with an Air Gun in a Park
Cleveland, Nov 22, 2014


He packs a toy
that holds its own brand of bullets, its hollow
ammunition. His whole childhood
hand is wrapped around its trigger, claiming
an imitation of power for his own
fun, sliding the weapon in and out of his belt
while suspended on a swing, his sneakers
skid-sliding free against nubs of shredded tires
that pad the park ground, until he stops,
steadies his sway with anchored feet,
a playful aim, but then reality
comes whirling
—the siren shut closed
by the rushing steps
of one who is armed
to protect.

+ + +

The Suspicious Death of Teenager Lennon Lacy
North Carolina, Aug 29, 2014


In the space between the ground and his feet
suspended by belts he never owned, knotted
to the crossbar of a swing-set emptied
of floating, rocking seats hung
the truth—
shoes fixed
to him a size too small
and stripped
of dangling

+ + +

The Purge: Baltimore, April 2015


School let out a seething march, each step
a concrete memory of each pain
that had come before. The anger
curved fangs of a crowbar
prying open a reason but finding
only cameras and cords and spilled
battery packs… Later the bricks
lie on the streets, a city
in crumbs, the sun
straining his eyes, and he is not allowed
to wear black over his head
this time, which leaves
his face uncovered, shows
his identifying
should be in fear of bearing
himself, glass
pops off each stroke
as he thinks this because
he is sweeping hard,
the street
held in the teardown
of demanding

+ + +

Header image courtesy of Li Hongbo. To view his Artist Feature, go here.

Nicole Miyashiro Poetry Nailed MagazineNicole Miyashiro thanks you for reading these poems. Her latest work appears or is forthcoming in LUMINAThe Stoneslide CorrectiveAtlas and AliceThe Doctor T. J. Eckleburg ReviewClever Girl MagazineHEArt Online, and Persephone’s Daughters. She is also working on an ekphrastic project called ‘Words of Art.’ Visit her online, here.


Carrie Ivy

Carrie Ivy (formerly Carrie Seitzinger) is Editor-in-Cheif and Co-Publisher of NAILED. She is the author of the book, Fall Ill Medicine, which was named a 2013 Finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Ivy is also Co-Publisher of Small Doggies Press.