Day 48-49



When the man in Nova Scotia
shot everyone, I hid
from my computer in my kitchen.
My friend had to call
and point out the added evil
of burning people in homes
where they were sheltering
in place, because I refused
to imagine it. As if my heart,
of all hearts, was the one
that couldn’t take it. Like I got
to choose the ceiling on suffering.
I tried to tell myself the knowledge
meant nothing. I couldn’t
throw his phony police car
in reverse. Couldn’t give him
the punch or hug or money
he’d needed, all those years before
he’d caromed towards
monster. But I knew
why I’d gone to the kitchen.
Before that man scared
his girlfriend into the woods
and started to shoot he'd had
to buy all those guns,
and before that 
he'd had to think to buy them,
which meant he believed
this was the action a man
takes in the world. A belief
he got from this world,
a world where I’ve
talked, in gyms and bars
and with my own brothers,
over girlfriends because
they were that easy
to disregard.
If men are taught
they’re owed complete control
of their lives, they'll respond
to chaos by trying to
re-order the world
with guns and fire.
I hid in my kitchen
so as not to consider
my part in this pedagogy,
or how little comfort
there was in the hollow-
sounding truth: that there’s no
rightful arrangement of things.
Only infinite outcomes
decided, as that man was
decided, at least in part,
by neighbours.


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