I do not know the sound that innocence makes
when it is shattered.
I don’t know if bodies dipped in earthen tones
can even be seen as innocent.
But I am so, so deeply sorry
that this town is not safer.
I know that the ancestors have gifted you
with an unspeakable strength and calmness,
but still it stings the corners of my eyes -
the smoking gunshots singe my nostrils
and an age-old white hot rage threatens to awaken
but I choke it down like refused vomit
so as not to be seen
They will ask you to contain it, honey child
you have already known how,
that crying can get you killed,
that moving can get you killed,
that breathing can get you killed –
You have already seen the crosshairs trained on innocence.
But maybe innocence cannot be shattered
when our children – have never been children.
I wish this town was safer.