Aerial view of the campus, the theater, the parking lot of the grammar school, the church grounds, the mall, the police, the EMTs, the stretchers, the ambulances
MSNBC, FOX coverage, press conferences, the killer’s shiftless or middle class or privileged background revealed, three-named moniker trotted out, his social media rants dissected, neighbors saying he’s a nice guy even if he dressed in camouflage, legally bought arsenal discovered in his mother's house
High school graduation photos of the victims, montage of Facebook pics, lives not lived imagined
Interviews with those who hid under bubblegum-pasted desks, velvet theater seats, folding chairs in the church meeting room, carrels in the library, those who found an exit door to grass, to rain, to lungs filling with air, with air
Later, the mothers, the fathers, the students, the churchgoers, those who forgive, those who don’t, reports of the lone hero who attacked the shooter though unarmed, the candlelight vigil, the tears, the prayers, the community pulling through, whatever that means to you, my fellow citizens, demanding the right to bear arms, not your fault, never your fault
Maura Candela's poetry has most recently been published in First Literary Review East. A short story published in The Common got a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize XXXVII.