Not in a school this time, but still, a child was shot and is critically fighting for his life.
What has happened to us? How did we get here? When did LIFE become so de-valued? It is the single most precious thing we have. All of us. Without it, we have nothing.
How do we not see ourselves in another? THIS is what baffles me. THIS is what motivated my response to gun violence... I share it here in fully as we cannot partially respond to this gun violence issue. Life is worth fighting for.
What is it
that cannot see
That does not recognize the familiarity
of my tears, my needs, my eyes?
How can you not smell my love,
the floral fragrance I whisper to this world,
my smile a mighty atomizer
spewing pleasure through my teeth
as beautiful truths come bursting forth.
Is there no value in you
that you cannot value me?
Are you lacking certain bones or muscles that pump your heart
to keep it soft and steady, alive?
Is your soul so hidden in your pinky toe
that you do not know
that we are kin
Sisters in sisterhood
Brothers in brotherhood
Partners in being
Journeying in lock step
on a planet racing toward extinction?
Are you so convinced of difference
that you cannot spot the evidence
of sameness all around you?
Do you hunger? Do you cry?
Does your left ear itch when you fly? Like mine?
Have you ever tried to taste the rain?
Or catch a bubble in your hand?
I wonder if you can.
If you have the capacity
to see my vulnerability
and its undeniable resemblance
to your own.
When you hold your lover's hand,
does it paint your cheeks like mine?
Does your mother's face bring swirling thoughts, memories, scars to mind?
Perhaps it is the viewfinder
you look through
that distorts your vision
blurs your judgment as you aim,
my nose transformed into a bullseye
as your finger strokes the trigger
stoking up the flames inside your mind
muddying the watery weak excuses
that you claim
grant you some kind of permission
to do the unspeakable
Here and Now.
Why do I sense fear
in your bloodshot eyes?
As you pose in your mock state of strength?
Could it be that you are afraid of unarmed me?
Your power-gun nothing but a mask
to hide the blackest blasts
of your inner shame?
Does your eyelid know my name?
That quiver in your palm,
perhaps it's picking up the rhythm of my pulse
our heartbeats quickened
by the fatal proximity of an early grave.
What score will you celebrate today?
As my final breath blends with yours
the air we share an equalizer,
our need for it the same.
Have you no burning in that smoking fingertip?
No chapping of your grimly parted lips?
No resonance within your vocal chords that vibrate just like mine
as you chant your victory cry
while I whimper my last words?
You see me as an apple in those orange eyes of yours
We are family
fruit from a familiar tree of DNA.
You're shooting off my nose
to spite our collective human face.
Duvall O’Steen ©2016