we always say we hope they don't grow up too fast
I think it would be easier if the death was closer.
how do we process a grief we never feel
a grief that is both not ours to feel and woven into the stitching of our pillowcases.
It would almost be easier if it had happened to me
if it were one of my friends
at least then I would know why I was crying.
As it stands, I'm not sure who I'm grieving for.
Maybe I mourn for any one of the victims of the 58 mass shootings since my last birthday.
Maybe I mourn for Nicholas Dworet, who would have turned 18 yesterday when 800,000 people turned out to mourn his 16 other classmates who died in 6 minutes and 20 seconds on the 14th day of the second month of this year.
Maybe I mourn for Courtlin Arrington, who would have turned 18 in 24 days but instead was shot dead at 3:45pm inside her 12th grade classroom.
Maybe I mourn for Stephon Clark, who was shot 20 times by two police officers in his grandmother's backyard, who was 22 years old and leaves behind 2 young sons and a fiance and family.
Maybe I mourn for any one of the people of color, trans folks, marginalized people who were shot dead and whose names never made it to the front page of any paper.
I think Emma Gonzáles is a god. I think she was made in a kiln by a titan at the center of the earth, all gritted teeth and stiff shoulders glazed in cargo and patches and lit up to a million degrees.
I think Emma Gonzáles is just a human being. I think she was born to be just a kid. The only kiln she should ever have been near was the one in the art room, provided her school had enough funding for one. Instead of art supplies she got 17 dead friends. Glazed in tragedy and lit up to a million degrees.
I think Emma Gonzáles was put on this earth to show us what we're capable of.
I don't have any answers. I don't know what to do besides sit on my bed, tears I didn't ask for right at the edge of my eyes while victims of school shootings vomit on stage in front of the world and continue to speak. I used to be afraid of packs of teens and now I want to be right in the middle of them. I don't know what to do besides follow these packs of teens into the fire. I wish we would have taken the fucking torch before they were tall enough to grab it.
The kids are going to save us. But we should have saved them first.
The kids are going to save us. But we should save them first.