That’s the exact number of bullets made
from melting the statue of King George III,
after it was pulled down by soldiers
during the American Revolution.
No records exist of the statue, except
for an inaccurate painting by a German artist,
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel. In it
the king sits in a warrior pose on horseback.
But this poem is not about the painting.
It is about the Forty Two Thousand and Eighty Eight
stories, waiting to be told, which is to say,
it is about one of them –
of ammunition made from a part
of the statue that had the King’s crotch
in contact with the horse rearing beneath.
Such was the bullet’s pomposity
that, at first, it failed to obey the gun
it was loaded with. Then the dynamics
of the revolver took over, and the rest
is rumour – that it had grazed a peasant
woman, and that later, she became pregnant.
A poet from India, SHRIRAM SIVARAMAKRISHNAN recently completed his MA in Poetry from Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, UK. His poems have appeared in Lemon Hound, Bird’s Thumb, Softblow, Camas, Allegro, The Mondegreen, among others. He tweets at @shriiram.