April 20th, 1991

That was a do-you-
remember-where-
you-were-when-
Elvis-died day.
Bold marchers stretched
thin as the casing
trail to cafeteria tables.
No one can hide
from silver-barreled
peekaboo and pipe
bombs in the gym
that may or may not
explode like these
two t-shirt teens
did. You and I
watched reality TV turned
reality, and my brother,
with tear-stained pop gun,
said, “Don’t worry, mom.
I’ll protect us.”
And we ache
to think the gun men
are boys
who fed toys with bullets
they gathered daily
instead of courage
like preschool fingers
on false hope rifles
tipped in red.

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