The Redneck Plunger
by Fayce Hammond
for christmas my sister gave my uncle a shotgun-shaped plunger – the kind of gag gift that only populates back corners and aisle end caps of idaho hunting stores under the moniker redneck plunger – its purposes scrawled across fecal-colored packaging like If you’re down in the dumps… you need a redneck plunger reminding you the poo is through… with the redneck plunger but most often it proclaims in large puss-yellow lettering If it’s brown, it’s down!... with the redneck plunger – firearm anatomy complete with action bar for cocking the realistic shotgun-sounds ready to fire out of the double-barrel bloomed rubber-plunger instead of open-fire – a cartoonish shit-killer – the weapon of choice for all toilets in need – a thing that can only be conceived by white men who wear camo like second skin and boast safes full of functioning musket-to-revolvers – an altar to the second amendment in their bedrooms – my cousin – a 7-year-old rural white boy / rural like already knows the sway of arrow strung on a bow – his small yet-to-be-calloused fingertips the only safety / white like he already knows how to oil his mouth to dazzle and conduct any gaze away from his blame-less skin / boy like he already knows the power in the snap of his fingers / takes up arms in novelty toy plunger-shotgun – chants his favorite slogan a hunting rally cry If it’s brown, it’s down! butts the stock to his shoulder blasts away an empty cardboard box / everyone laughs / If it’s brown, it’s down! he stalks each target like it might run – swinging the plunger-barrel onto its mark / the stairway rail / settles into each shot like he isn’t afraid of kickback / the kitchen table / doesn’t yet know what real bullet holes live like / the entertainment center / it’s not long before he centers my father in his sights – the only brown alive in the room – his skin bringing out the pale in mine – foiling everyone else in the entire house – the only person who might be mistaken for a deer in the brush if the wrong white person is on the other end of the scope – and my rural-white-boy cousin centers on my father and with the deliberation of a hunter holding still his hands for the kill says you’re brown
Fayce Hammond is a transplant to Columbus, Ohio from the West and thinks the Midwest should acquire some mountains. Their work has been published in The Fem Literary Magazine, ellipsis…, and Scribendi. They competed on two national poetry teams (Salt City Slam 2014, Writing Wrongs 2015), competed as the Writing Wrongs Individual World Poetry Slam representative in 2015, and co-founded the Columbus Queer Open Mic. They’re in the middle of their rebellious stage, which involves having marginally unpopular opinions of Gone Girl and eating cookie dough instead of baking it.
Fall 2016, Issue 19
Fall 2016, Issue 19