The Endless Cycle

shooting aftermath:
AP testing in mid-June
for suburbanites

the gun’s reach has wrath
stretching fifteen miles south
of where my home is

they shuffle in, grin;
calculators, pens ready
for a number game

but they’re missing one,
his seat echoed in “thank-yous”
as they shuffle out

they are just children
trying to grow up and catch
the world’s beauty

my tires spin home,
the grey ponds reflecting love
i cannot give them

Even the Sunset Says So

Is there a prettier Denver sunset than this ‘red’ sunset over teachers rallying to strike??

I don’t know what you were thinking, DPS. Did you not realize you are a district in a union-led hotbed of liberals???

Did you think we were going to sit down and shut up??

We’re going to rally. We’re going to win.

Even the sunset says so.

Refocused

with a broken fridge,
 limitations on dry ice,
 and carpool circles
 
 to pick up daughter
 from uncalled-for punishment,
 my Monday sucked ass.
 
 driving home in rain,
 she told me the whole story
 and other teen truths.
 
 then shared her essay:
 perfectly satirical
 (writer at fourteen)
 
 the rain flooded us
 and we laughed until we cried
 knowing that truth hurts.
 

I Cry for his Loss

i cry for the card, for his loss,
 for his Iraqi-Syrian past,
 for all the burning hours of summer school
 where he committed himself
 to finishing high school in three years.
 
 i cry for his words, for his loss,
 his inescapable self that has hidden
 a kind face in a chaotic classroom,
 his sly smile catching my every
 snuck-in witty remark
 (even when no one else could).
 
 i cry for the system, for his loss,
 shuffled by our government’s wars
 between homelands that stole his home,
 for his pride in Iraqi architecture
 that he may never see again.
 
 i cry for his future, for his loss,
 for how unequivocally kind his soul remains
 after all he has witnessed in twenty-one years,
 for his brothers who wait under his watchful shadow,
 for our country to give him a chance.
 
 i cry for his words, for my loss,
 to not have his presence in my classroom,
 to have the nicest thing anyone’s
 ever written to me
 disappear with a graduation ceremony.
 
 i cry for the world, for their loss,
 for robbing refugees of their rights,
 for keeping the beauty that is him,
 that is within all of them,
 from sharing their strength
 with all of us, inshallah,
 for a brighter tomorrow.