A teenage boy sat alone at a picnic bench along the river,
twirling the tip of a pocket knife on the table top.
He then flipped the knife a few inches in the air
and watched as the blade landed and
stuck perfectly straight into a table plank.
A slight smile of satisfaction
pulled across his face.
When the cops came to remove the boy
from society, they found him gently carving
the bark from a fallen tree limb.
He'd planned on crafting a walking stick
for an elderly neighbor.
A week later, after the tears,
after the news coverage,
the half-carved limb remained on the ground,
next to the picnic bench, alone.
They said when I go to college
My bubble will burst
At first, I didn't believe them
The parties and the alcohol were always out of site
The gangs and drugs too far for me to smell
Then one day it burst
I didn't feel it, like I thought
I thought, it would feel like cannonballing into a freezing pool
On the first day of summer
It was silent
Like the moment after an inhale
Or a scream
After a student cries out
There's an active shooter
I didn't feel him knocking on my door to let him in
Instead, he crept around, found the hole in the fence
In that instant, my fragile walls
After years of carefully building
The stranger sitting next to me
Now my brother, sister, in my home
Their faces of shock forever etched in my brain
The school is in lockdown
The blue bubbles of worries sent into space
Hoping something other than bad news will return
I could hear all the prayers being sent to heaven
I was sitting in the back row
Of the largest lecture hall on campus
I do not know if this killer wants to go out with a bang
If he did, this would be his target
Filled with eager, or bored, biology students
I never got this manuel
I do not know how to protect myself from a machine gun
The mass of officials reporting words that used to feel foreign
They would never enter my world
But here they are, next to my forgotten socks
And broken promises
Shooter. Gun. Death. Blood. Knives.
My brother is still asleep
Across the country
Full of turkey and thanks
Never of shock or horror
Once the news comes out, that it was
Just a car hitting people
Just a knife stabbing
Just hospital visits
Just one death
Just the culprit
Why do I feel relief
When my classmates were hurt
Yet I am releasing my breath
Somehow a car running over students
A knife stabbing friends
Was a relief to me
Because these deeds done by a monster
Are less than a gunnman
If he had waited
Got stuck in a traffic light
Two minutes more
It would have been me
Every day I count my blessings
My bubble is still healing
It will reopen again soon
The memories will always be fresh
It is days like these that I am reminded of why
On that day back then
I was so scared to be in one of my favorite places
A school should never be a memorial
I wish I could reach through my LED screen
Tell the victims
I feel your feelings
I recognize those silent prayers
I too, have sent them myself
I too, will never forget the fear
I know this day will forever haunt you
It's pain will never cease
I hope I can help you rebuild your bubble
To make you a little more full
On mirror, one morning,
What I saw, blew mind
Made me turn, look behind
There stood, with a knife
At the throat, of wife
Her screams, all could hear
My heart, burst with fear
With panic, in my chest
Took swing, for the best
caught hard, in the face
Knife dropped, grasp, race
Me first, knife, mess
Him blood, life less
Wife safe, me shocked
Bathroom exit, door locked
A blue eyed woman stabbed me with her eyes,
She was asking for some help,
A ring was stuck in her finger.
Many volunteered to assist,
I avoided those knives
I didn't want to get stabbed again,
Until I got lost in the blue.
I can't stop looking at the ocean
On a clear day.
So I offered assistance
To remove the band
From her hand
And replace it with another one,
But she laughed
I will never learn,
If only I was color blind.
Arrives on the morning
He does what he can
To carry your life away
Lost his bone
So alone, so alone
Descend into fog
Hiding the path where you trod
Claws at it’s face
No grace, no grace
Tell yourself you’re fat
There’s no turning back
Keep at bay, keep at bay
Can’t ignore the mocks
Too much for your brain to block
Always diving deeper
A reaper, a reaper
Forget how to feel
Is this even real?
Always ready to run
No fun, no fun
How will you cope?
Go ahead and take the rope
Arrives on the morning
Go ahead, take the knife
But you know in your heart...
You can’t end your life
The first time you made me bleed,
I thought it was for love.
I thought the knife you were slowly
Thrusting into me was an act of affection,
That you really were doing it to save my life.
It wasn't until I realized that love is not synonymous with pain
That I understood it was I who was saving myself.
A pizza roller
Instruments of humble vivisection
I wield, I rend, I create.
Needles and pins,
Nimble and thin,
I pierce, I pull, I close.
With measured patience
I choose my weapons:
Ink, passion, time, and wit.
An armory of precision and gut.
Boulders bruise but roll away,
Fire burns, but I'm already ablaze,
Arrows lodge shallow or all fall short,
But the cold?
The draining thought:
Is this the end of my creation -
Is there no more?
I slowly bleed out.
Which do I choose?
When given the choice of either:
A bullet to the head
Or a knife to the heart
How do I choose?
When I know the result from either:
Will be the end of me,
As well as impossible to recover from
Why do I choose?
How did I get myself into this. either:
From being in a state of limerence
Or finally finding someone who appreciates me
What do I choose?
I need to make the choose and either:
Use my brain, take the knife and perish
Or follow my heart, take the bullet and be in forever pain
When I say “hold me”
I don’t just mean “don’t let me go”.
I want you to bring me as close as possible
And make our heartbeats align
In that one moment,
In that perfect embrace,
Our souls fused into one.
I could see it on your face.
If I wasn’t mortal
I wouldn’t have let you go.
I couldn’t freeze time then,
Still, I relive that second every day.
While I thought that everything was going to be fine,
You found the time to sharpen your knife.
And while I brought you close to my heart,
The blade struck deep and it cut me open.
As I lay here now,
With my final breath making its way home,
The last name I can think of