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Apr 2019
Here in America,
we improvise morgues
as needed.
in the cafeterias
or by the lockers,
near the ticket booths,
and at the altars.
We divvy up the dead.
Tally them
and report the number
like an answer.
13, 20, 49, 58, 6
Every death count
a timely national shock.
Almost as if  
our well-televised  
monthly tragedy
was ever anything less
than a game of roulette.
anything less than a matter of time
and time and time again.
Covering them each
with our bed sheets,
we try and stifle it.
Do our best to
staunch the the sights,
the noises,
(“just like chairs falling”)
the names
that keep bleeding out
onto our thoughts  
and tongues,
Far too much and
too often
not to choke on.

Here in America,
we’ve learned that  
horror is level-headed.
It is debatable.  
It is pangless.
It seeps, deep to the core,
perverting with a silent smile.
the steady, feverish dread
weaving itself into the mundane.
the “god help us”  
annulled by the
“respectfully disagreed”
the nightmare that lies  
always just underneath,
and just out of mind,
Until it insinuates itself
Again and again...

Here, in America
We line the bodies,
death slumped, and  
bled out on the pavement.
We arrange them-
Side by side.
Most are missing things-
a hat, a piece of face.
one shoe, a dulled pencil
(fill in C)
phones
buzzing on the ground
lit up with unread messages
(“Please call me”)
They are missing-
an upcoming  
7th birthday party,
(Star Wars themed)
They are missing-
their vacations.
their first dates.
their college applications.
job interviews.
kids.
fiancées.
Lined up lifeless,  
they are missing
far too many things  
to gather.
Written by
Elijah Bowen  18/M/West Virginia
(18/M/West Virginia)   
2.7k
   Ylzm
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