Ian C. Williams: When Captain Kirk Double-Kicked Wyatt Earp 

Ian C. Williams: When Captain Kirk Double-Kicked Wyatt Earp 

What I Misunderstood When Captain Kirk Double-Kicked Wyatt Earp 


I pressed closed fists to carpet as I watched the bullets 

rip a wooden wall to splinters. All smoke & ricochet— 

all hate & lead teeth chewing through barrel & stale air,  

passing through captain & crew—


affecting no one. The bullets, the crew is assured, 

are not real. They are only illusions & can only reap

the illusion of death. That’s the real danger.


The believing you're dead  

when no real bullet ever touched you. 


And the captain was never scared. Deadshot confident 

with every assurance 1968's future afforded & really, 

what had changed since '68 & '99? Why couldn't I 

launch myself through smoke & cordite 


against anyone with grim vision and questionable intent?  

Why couldn't I fight for my crew, my family,

my first officer, my Enterprise? After all,

the bullets were never real.                              

Ian C. Williams is pursuing an MFA at Oklahoma State University, and edits the online poetry magazine, Jarfly. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Harpur Palate, and Salamander, among others, and his chapbook, House of Bones, is available from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma with his wife, Bailey, along with their two dogs and two cats. He tweets at @ianwilliamspoet.