Kate Lee: I Heard

I heard that in Parkland, a girl was shot to death in the middle of Calculus, terror stumbling over chalk numbers
and I heard that it’s been nineteen years since Columbine
and I heard that eighteen guns have been fired across schools in two months
and I heard names inking onto the earth of a nation, echoing tattoos of blindness.

I heard that after twenty-eight at Sandy Hook, we gave up
and I heard that in a country with more guns than people they are talking about freedom
and I heard that this too shall pass
and I heard that it’s normal to be numb.

I heard and exhausted all of those words
but yesterday, I heard loved voices plotting places to hide in case a gun was pointed
at our window in the middle
of Calculus

like this was a normal Friday
heard children mouth horrors like feeble gossip over bacon breakfasts
and I saw the soul of a generation being shot through
clean-cut to the bone
where the normal sigh to blood across headlines
and the whir of a constant drilling fear
were the greatest education we’d earned.