America has never been great

I banged my head against walls

To get out of school

Because I couldn’t face my abusers anymore

And this was my new normal

And then a barrage of guns burst through the doors

I heard one of them pop like a champagne bottle

It wasn’t the cop’s guns

It was his

I felt my youth fade again

I felt the wires cross

I felt two souls fade

As the officer

With a pistol in his holster

Supposedly for our safety

Touched my breasts

In front of 3000 other people

And told me he wished we would have met outside of this

I felt the wires cross that day

As I saw semi automatic rifles

Hung casually around white men’s necks

As natural to me as bad breath and capri suns

No one tells you that your wires cross

You figure that out for yourself

Your therapist won’t fucking tell you

You figure it out because you remember your friend

Sobbing into your shoulder

While you all hid under desks

You figure it out because you see someone who looks like him

And you freeze up

And everyone looks like him

You figure it out because you go into a fugue state

Every time you see a fucking gun

And you can’t move

And you’re at work

And you have to move

You figure it out

Because you go to the psych ward

And a middle-aged woman

With turtleshell coke bottle glasses

Tells you that you have PTSD

And you’ve been telling people you barely remember the school itself

Let alone the gunman

Let alone the experience

And yet you still deny it

Until your umpteenth panic attack

And your wires cross again


An unhealthy sense of nationalism


I want to die

I wish I was shot

The secretary says it’s a drill

I don’t think it is

The one time it wasn’t

I tried to help

I shoved myself down

Let someone else be vomited up

Let one person die

Let another person shoot themselves

After killing that other person

They tell you not to be a hero

I didn’t have an opportunity to be one

I’m too weak to kill my own self

I wish he had killed me

I can’t go into a theatre without going back

Fake astral-projecting back into my brown-haired body

Hugging my friends

Joking with my sister over text

Telling my mother I love her

Hoping that the worst happens

I’m weak

I know that

I’m weak enough to let myself go to a school with 3000 people

Cry myself to sleep every day

And not get shot

And wish that I did

I still shake every time I’m near someone who looks like him

I still hyperventilate every time I’m near a gun

I can’t even be around someone who supports guns without having a panic attack

I’m scared that it will happen again

I’m scared because the united states keeps letting it happen

And while the probability is low

They said that the probability was low that I would survive my second surgery

So I could be shot

So I could be stuck again

Feet barely moving

Because all my motor skills

Fine or not

Shut down

It only takes one idiot with a gun and a bad idea

That’s what people don’t understand

You may be competent

You may be safe

But other people are unpredictable

Other people aren’t safe

My breath still catches every time I round a corner

Or see my friend I comforted that day

Or go to the Fred Meyers they dropped us off at

Or see a chair that looks vaguely like the one I grasped onto while crying

Knuckles white

Heart aching

Things don’t get better

That’s what they don’t tell you

It doesn’t get easier

You just learn to avoid parts that make it worse

Nothing ever gets easier

Especially not this

This poem is about: 
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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