First-person Shooter

I was there not like they were there the eagle scout who stopped the door with a table and his femoral artery the student who lay quiet under the wounds of another the teacher who still canít read stories by sad students who write of extension cords and tall trees but I was there playing tennis as other peopleís children were dying I remember a truck with a megaphone a cell phone finally answered at court change it was over by then no one knew even the shooter was dead I remember running my husband locked in his office  one building away from the early kills that turned out to be a warm-up act three of our children locked in their schools our oldest safe in another town but my eleven year old was sick at home while other children were shot for showing up to class so I ran with the campus minister both of us grabbing tennis bags, rackets, and shoes he to his students the teachers the university that needed I didnít give a fuck about any of them I drove past fields and fences cows and sharpshooters waiting sirens and lights in my rearview one child thatís all one child the world when I got home that child on the couch with a  blanket the dog curled beside a glass of orange juice confused by a motherís kiss my rough hold interrupting his video game


KMA Sullivanís poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Forklift, Ohio, The Nervous Break Down, Pear Noir!, Gargoyle, H_NGM_N, diode, and elsewhere. She has been awarded residencies at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in creative non-fiction and from Vermont Studio Center in poetry. She is the editor of Vinyl Poetry and the Founding Editor and Publisher of YesYes Books.