On Guns and Violence

I am in the hands of he who does not comprehend

Anything

His mind is not his own

The blame not his to carry

But the victims are still gone, and their grieving mothers

Need someone to blame

Who do they blame?

The fault is mine, of course

I am here, forgotten, discarded

Evidence

But I am so much more than proof

In my chamber I held one too many bullets

Branded with their names

Now they lie, motionless,

Bodies without souls—

One too many of them

How much longer before the next one?

Who will choose to stand behind me

Wielding power he does not possess,

Taking lives he has no right to take

I am not a shield for you

Do you not understand

With your history and your wars and your massacres

Do you still not understand?

With men among you who feed off my abilities,

Why do you allow your laws to be on the side of killers

I am not your friend

I will never be your friend

Arm yourselves with shame

Or have there not been enough deaths for you yet?

 

 

 

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“Self”

Beneath the layers

You construct

Deep down where no one

Knows you, as you pretend

To know yourself,

In the fabric of

Your fabricated lies and

Your woven untruths—

There is a part of you

That you have long since

Buried, the forgotten remains

Of happier beginnings.

She crouches in a corner of

A fragmented mind, rocking

Back and forth, teetering

On the edge of something new.

She reaches for the outside world,

Where you have learned to hide

In plain sight. But you push

Her down, into the depths of a

Miserable non-existence.

She is the only one who will fight

You, but you have long since

Given up the fight

“Remembering”

Like the drops of dew that

Have come to take residence

On her hollowed cheeks

The raindrops splattering

Over the umbrella of her

Broken thoughts

Sting.

They sting, and she does nothing

To wipe them away. Instead she

Clutches onto a hope

That the past will be wiped

From her mind,

With the salt of her memories

And the novelty of new pain

That comes in the deluge

From an equally unhappy sky

“At the Kitchen Table”

They sit and recount

Petty details

Stainless steel scraping across

White porcelain

Tearing apart a single day

Like they tear at the flightless bird

That is dinner

Their false laughter bubbles on the edge

Of something else, something

Waiting on the periphery

Hungry for a single word to ignite

Its anger

They sit with the pretense

Of being normal

But they are only fooling themselves

I should know

I am the one

That carries their scraps

And their weighted silences

“The Practice of Civility”

I am Referee
Standing at a stance
Arms splayed open
To accommodate for the
Distance left between
The two of you
My tiger stripes stand for courage
To help me make the call

I am Peacekeeper
Consoling you while
I comfort her
Reassuring words pour forth
Time and again, recycled
Churning in my belly before
Spewing out to tell you that
“You’re right. Yes, of course. I know it’s not fair”

I am Healer
Holding on to the
Shredded love between
You, watching as it
Melts in strips through
Warm fingertips and you
Cling to my shoulder, shedding your
Troubles and your crocodile tears

I am Mediator
Once again between you while
She tugs and you shove
Neither to be outdone, eager
To have justice on your sides
But justice takes to the sidelines—
Vertigo and gravity make
For a better team

I am Counselor
Having to explain
The difference between
Being listened to
And being heard, yet still
You refuse to free yourself
Of the leash that Pride
Holds doggedly against you

I am Caught in the Middle
Ensnared in the back-and-forth
That is your life’s work
Praying silently for your silence
I close my eyes and wait
For one of you to lose interest
Who am I to stop you
When you’re at your best?

“Unafraid”

I am not afraid

Because I choose

Not to acknowledge fear

I am not unhappy

Because I have chosen

To re-define happiness

I am not weak

Because my strengths

Lie in my greatest weaknesses

I am not hurried

Because I understand

That life is just a glimpse

I am not relenting

Because I have a voice

And I recognize its power

I am not normal

Because normal is for

Those who settle for ordinary

I am not satisfied

Because I know that

My reach can extend further still

I am not right, nor am I wrong

Because, frankly, that

Is irrelevant

I am not alone

Because you are like me

Unafraid

A Story in so Many Words: Airborne

She grips the balloon, letting the string dig into small fingers that strain with the effort of holding on. Her brows are knitted with unwavering concentration. A sudden wind wrenches the string from her hands, stinging pale skin. She watches the last reminder of her father drift to the heavens.

A Story in so Many Words: “Reassurances”

She’d only agreed to let him take her back here because she knew he needed it. He needed the reassurance that, in some parallel universe, where all the elements and time were on their side, their daughter would still be alive and they wouldn’t need to shed so many tears.