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Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic of rifles (for Uvalde and other schools…)

Blood-splattered backpacks and papers strewn beneath
overturned desks—
Summer dreams blasted out orange-sized exit wounds.
High velocity .223s chased children into “harm’s way;”
“wrong place, wrong time—” last days of school—first
double digit years of their lives.

Gut-punched parents receive swabs matching DNA with
powder-burned bodies. Instead of reviewing report cards
And smiling ear-to-ear.
Terror-etched faces—emptied eyes—listen to doctors on
the 5 minutes before ‘bleeding out.’ On cold store whole
blood transfusions…Must parents master this information?

Warfare-failed state, carnage curricula, forces teachers
to teach to tests: Safe words. Hand signals.
Switched off lights. Locked doors—blocked with desks.
Silent hiding. Climbing over classmates’ bullet-riddled bodies;
crawling/running/slipping on scarlet floors— ‘snuff porn targets’
in capitalist video games…

“Good guys with guns”…arrive… Yellow tape, Blue Lives
Matter Most mindsets—fabulous strike-breakers who strike
marchers; pepper-spray protestors; knee necks—
Sauntering, loitering overtime. “Good guys with guns,” fully-
funded and trained—Tackling, tasering, cuffing salt of the earth;
Lunch bucket parents, suspected of attempting to save children’s lives…

Moments of silence…Semi-automatic “thoughts and prayers;”
Hollow-point “horrific and heart-breaking” blast from muzzles
of merchants of death. Market shares skyrocket as platoons of
copycat killers groomed
by Grandma Genocide/Grandad Slavery line up to

(I close my eyes and imagine 400 million guns tumbling—like
uranium raindrops—
on Costa Rican, Ghanaian, Swiss streets…
Weekly mass murders?
Cops killing a thousand a year?
“That’s ‘life’” shrugged shoulders?)

Say it’s all some terrible dream…shooter—lower grades—where
lil’ Elijah sometimes says, “I’m sad…” as we check in, serving
snacks. Shooter storms the school farm—
blasting Farmers Ben and Beth and children pulling greens from
black soil— enters classroom off cafeteria, Chef Kathy’s teaching
salads/cooking skills…

Ms Cross’s 4th grade class—I’m tutoring the mocha brown lil
sister in aunt’s custody; Berkeley High basketball star-to-be;
blonde, blue-eyed twins; Yemen’s Ayat reading out from under
Bombs of beheading embassy butchers…

I jackknife up! Woke with gnarled NRA images: Ms Johnson
after lunch. Long-gun strapped across shoulders managing class!
Ms Logan, chalkboard, Glock hugging hip.
And Ms Wilson,
Principal, flaunting sidearm—rather than
Arms hugging lovingly, mornings at playground gate