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Sunday, June 02, 2019


by Sarah E. Colona

The 12 victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting: LaQuita C. Brown, Ryan Keith Cox, Tara Welch Gallagher, Mary Louise Gayle, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, Joshua O. Hardy, Michelle "Missy" Langer, Richard H. Nettleton, Katherine A. Nixon, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Herbert "Bert" Snelling, Robert "Bobby" Williams

unwelcome as a thunderclap
no storm in the forecast
or that’s the printed headline

wherever humans gather
where hands stretch Velcro or loop shoelaces
classroom, church, amusement park

instill mastery of the tourniquet
combat American love
of gun metaphor and euphemism

do not soften my path to water: shower, spray
trauma shreds flesh
blood loss floods a morgue

my name began as small ball
now watch me reduce
one nation to thoughts and prayers

Sarah E. Colona is the author of three poetry collections: Hibernaculum (Gold Wake Press, 2013), Thimbles (dancing girl press, 2012) and That Sister (dancing girl press, 2016).