He put moisturizer the morning he shot
thirty-three people.Â That stands out.Â The desire
to be soft. I could tell the guy from NPR
that’s what I want, to be soft, or the guy
from the LA Times, or the guy from CNN who says
we should chat. Such a casual word, chat.
I’m chatting to myself now: you did not
do enough about the kid who took your class
a few buildings from where he killed.
This is my confession. And legs, I think
the roommate said, moisturizer in the shower,
I don’t know what I could have done
something. Something more than talk to someone
who talked to someone, a food chain of language
leading to this language of "no words" we have now.
Maybe we exist as language and when someone dies
they are unworded. Maybe I should have shot the kid
and then myself given the math. 2 < 33.
I was good at math. Numbers are polite, carefree
if you ask the random number generators.
Mom, I don’t mean the killing above.
It’s something I write like, "I put my arms
around the moon." Maybe sorry’s the only sound
to offer pointlessly and at random
to each other forever, not because of what it means
but because it means we’re trying to mean,
I am trying to mean more than I did
when I started writing this poem, too soon
people will say, so what. This is what I do.
If I don’t do this I have no face and if I do this
I have an apple for a face or something vital
almost going forward is the direction I am headed.
Come with me from being over here to being over there,
from this second to that second. What countries
they are, the seconds, what rooms of people
being alive in them and then dead in them.
The clocks of flowers rise, it’s April
and yellow and these seconds are an autopsy
of this word,