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Tuesday, February 13, 2018


by Susana H. Case

Monolithic domes in Italy, Texas.

(ITALY, Texas) — A 15-year-old student in Texas was injured in a shooting in her high school cafeteria Monday morning and a 16-year-old boy, also a student at the school, was taken into custody, sheriff’s officials said. —Time, January 22, 2018

Italy, Texas, so named because a guy
once took a vacation overseas
and came back impressed, is filled with domes
that look like giant, peeled half-
grapefruits. You can put them anywhere.
Next to a power plant, if you want to.

Today, a teenager shot another teenager,
but we can’t do anything about that,
all the guns. Italy is filled
with domes of polyester and PVC,
reinforced with concrete, which means
no tornadoes
or earthquakes
or firestorms
can destroy them.
You can’t even shoot
a bullet through them.
They will last a century—with rebar, centuries.

The thing is, they’re ugly.
Not at all like Brunelleschi’s opulent
Duomo in Florence, in the real Italy, though
Michelangelo compared it to a cricket cage.
Ugly grapefruit halves.

Not as ugly as going to a school to shoot
a young girl. Those domes can take a lot
of abuse, as long as you don’t use propane
or natural gas, which can leak and accumulate,
maybe even kill you. They won’t kill
you as easily as a gun.

Susana H. Case is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Drugstore Blue from Five Oaks Press, 2017, as well as four chapbooks. She is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City.