Air Gun

by Adam Braker

All I wanted was to show him it was safe
All he wanted was to get out of the room

A single pump

Air Gun

A Christmas present from Dad.

And I thought it was empty
And I promised it was empty
As I held it to his head

and then he started crying.

and soon we all waited in the emergency room
as the surgeon pulled the tiny ball out of his forehead
at the same time the giant ball dropped in New York
at Midnight

and Dad asked me what happened
and the Doctor asked me what happened
and the Police Officer asked me what happened

a jump into the dark, I said
a shot into
an empty room

an accident

and my baby brother was too young to talk.
and so my lie worked
and now it’s too late to apologize.

But I’m sorry, Matthew

I’m always sorry.

ADAM BRAKER is an architect and musician living in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently working on a collection of songs and poems starting with the letter “A.” Connect with him at

Photo: “I’m Sorry” by Thomas Hawk