poetry

5/27/22

according to some reports


According to some reports

The shooter believed in God

But does God believe in him?

According to some reports

The shooter was sick

But not too sick to buy the gun–to buy the ammo–

to buy the gear that allowed him to take the children

Did God believe in him then?

Did God believe in him

When he pointed the gun at his grandmother?

Or maybe it was when he entered the classroom?

Did God believe in him then?

Or maybe the shooter believed he was God—

Deciding that he would turn nineteen,

 

But Xavier wouldn’t…And Amerie wouldn’t…And Annabell wouldn’t…

And Uziah wouldn’t…And Makenna wouldn’t…And Jose wouldn’t…

And Rojelio wouldn’t…And Elijah wouldn’t…And Eliahna wouldn’t…

And Jayce wouldn’t…And Jaliah wouldn’t…And Tess wouldn’t

And Alexandria wouldn’t…And Jackie wouldn’t…And Nevaeh wouldn’t…

And Layla wouldn’t…And Alithea wouldn’t…And Maite wouldn’t…

And Miranda wouldn’t…

 

But from what I’ve read

God doesn’t need any more eighteen-year-old soldiers, jacked up

On crackpot conspiracies, fueled by malicious media, wrapped in an imperfect constitution

To decide who lives and who dies

My God mocks your thoughts and your prayers, wondering why,

Instead of thinking and praying,

We didn’t do something

Anything

 

For Xavier, for Amerie, for Annabelle, for Uziah

For Makenna, for Jose, for Rojelio, for Elijah,

For Eliahna, for Jayce, for Jaliah, for Tess,

For Alexandria, for Jackie, for Nevaeh, for Layla,

For Alithea, for Maite, for Miranda—

 

According to some reports, the shooter believed in Heaven

But if there is a Heaven—a mighty big “if”—

The shooter isn’t there

The shooter isn’t famous

The shooter is forgotten

And the names that are remembered

Are the names he tried to erase