Ready! Aim! Fire!

In the Ready! Aim! Fire! of the new
Indignant, open-carry era

(Blood stains on the salient leaves & branches
Of the Tree of Life),

Corinna emphasizes: in protean English
We have a plethora of words 

For lethal weapons & course, 
Columbine, Sandy Hook & Parkland

Aren’t the three names of coruscating,
Stop-the-presses! Graces.

Rabbi Lev confesses that he must now post 
A chilling sign proclaiming 

Firearms aren’t allowed
In synagogue pews 

Or anywhere near the Torah scrolls;
Yes, in tabernacles 

& doleful churches, 
In wailing school parking lots, we cry

We can’t go on living like this
& then we go on living like this:

Deadfall, savage protocol
Splattered all over our classrooms.

Copyright © 2022 by Cyrus Cassells. From The World That the Shooter Left Us (Four Way Books, 2022). Used with permission of the author.