A shark without teeth.  

A bicycle without wheels.  

A kid without energy.  

A poem without poetry. 


Some would say coward.  

Others might spray traitor.  

None would agree patriot.  


Let me see your war face. 

R. Lee Ermey demanded this of Private Joker in Full Metal Jacket.

I loved it at the time without realizing—I never wrote down war face on a Christmas list.

Being a killer wasn’t a goal of mine.  

Defender was.  

It’s not polite to end a sentence with a preposition.  

Then again, neither is inhaling someone’s last breath.   

I wanted to defend others from tyranny, oppression, and the lifestyles of the rich and famous.  

Hell, that’s what I thought I was doing.  

In the end, I discovered I was the great and powerless Oz behind the curtain of my own perspective.  

Because the only rights I defended belong to active shooters.