In the Room of a Thousand Endings

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 13:01 -- brose


Inspired by Billy Collins


It would be a lie to say

I don’t have a habit of writing

About every tragedy

That is headlined on the evening news,

A lie to say

I don’t know the exact time Adam Lanza

Walked into Sandy Hook Elementary

And fired off his gun –

And in case you were wondering,

It was about 9:35 a.m.

My poems are streaked with the blood if these victims,

Worn by the tears of their families

That settle in the cracks of these consonants

Like birds finding shelter in a storm,

Their wings made heavy from the rain.

In my dreams,

I walk through their classrooms,

I notice the shattered windows,

And pick up their souls one by one, chanting,

“No more dying, no more dying, no more dying.”

I am still finding glass embedded

In the soles of my feet.


My mother hands these poems back to me

With a shake of her head.

She thinks my obsession is unhealthy,

That I should stop driving under bridges

And waiting for someone to jump,

I should stop assuming

That the shady-looking man on the street

Is carrying a gun.


I tell her I am trying

But these deaths continue

To settle on my chest

Like water seeping into the ground.

I tell her I am trying

But how can I look at all the pain,

The hurt,

In the world,

And not notice it?

I am a piece of fabric

And stitched in me

Is the constant need

To bring more good.

Empty their guns,

Sweep up the glass,

And bury this misery

Deep into the ground

Like the dead.


I go back to my room

And turn on the news.

This time, it is the face of a boy

 Who painted his life

At the bottom of the parking ramp,

After he sat in the airport

Nine hours

When they wouldn’t let him on

The goddamn plane.

It is strange,

The different kinds of flying.


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