Bullet Parts

Primer (Brass + Lead)

The bullet base is made from the kind of brass that otherwise 
would have been a classroom doorknob or cheap ring at one 
of those prequarantine gathering places with games of chance 
& lights that surprise & delight. Or molded into new French 
horns for the underfunded youth band—no solos for the hornists, 
but they are still vital to the orchestra. At the center of the brass 
base: an igniter made out of lead. An igniter is only good at exploding,
but the lead might have scratched its love in meticulous notes 
with old-time penmanship. Or become part of the paint behind 
a Periodic Table of Elements in the back of a public-school 
classroom: Pb, atomic number 82. It’s right there, lining Roman 
aqueducts & wine vats at the other end of the empire. It’s right 
there, holding reactors & their radiations close as a friend in need. 
Walkman batteries running out in the middle of a slow jam again—
the voices get thicker & deeper in the lead correction. In some other 
life, the primer probably would have gone in another direction.  

— Adrian Matejka (from Four Way Review)