Bringing a Gun to Chekhov’s House

by Robert Wood Lynn

It’s a party everyone’s real happy to see you and
you’re not stupid you don’t show them the gun nobody
is happy to see a gun and after all it’s his house and
you know how he gets so you’re gonna leave it
with the coats and there’s gonna be someone real
cute there at the party someone you’ve got real good at
looking away from it’ll be a real rager real scribble
yourselves on the walls kind of night and there’s gonna be
the part of it where you both end up in the bathroom line
away from whoever you came with or will go home with
and there will be this tremendous opportunity to say
something even though it’s all very loud and you’ll think
of the cleverest way to sum up the immense distance
between people and make believe the being alive part
of being alive and so the moment you open your mouth
to say it you will know this is gonna work that you’re both
gonna wreck everything about yourselves in the purest
way you will be asking each other to whisper forgotten
names and take turns napping with each other’s whole
body weight on top of you and this is honestly the most
gorgeous you have ever been absolutely finally and now
the moment you open your mouth there is this tremendous
noise coming from coming from coming from coming from
oh the room with the coats at which point everything
remembers quiet that angry kind of quiet
and you’re not sure if you should still try and say it

Robert Wood Lynn is a poet from Virginia. His debut collection Mothman Apologia (2022 Yale University Press) was selected by Rae Armantrout for the 2021 Yale Younger Poets prize. His work has been featured in Poetry Magazine, Poetry Daily, The Yale Review, and other publications. He lives in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.