retribution on a sunday afternoon

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In the end,
17 bodies lay contorted on the floor;
several more with minor wounds
and a young woman,
cradling a shotgun,
rocking in the corner.

Air thick with stench of smoking gun
and dying breath, heavy,
a blanket wrapping the space in silence,
save for the wailing
of a small child
still clinging to a stroller.
Young mother
laid out
slack-jawed and wide-eyed
chest blooming crimson on yellow blouse;
Security guard,
bullet to stomach, bleeding out,
light tremors quaking his body
as life slowly drains.
Fifteen others frozen in final moments,
the tell-tale mark of fate
worn on chests like a bloody badge.

All she ever wanted was the kindness of a smile.
Sought out love in darkened basements,
in backseats and behind buildings;
Never good enough for the front of the line.
Became the train ride that everyone took
but never talked about,
laughed about behind hands,
in hallways,
eyes averted from face.
Name traded in circles
like she was
spread around.
Little girl
just wanted to be found
Always felt so

They raped her
on a Sunday afternoon
crowded mall, a public restroom.
Surrounded, overpowered and
backed into corner,
six hands locked arms against wall
six hands
tore shirt from chest
three bodies
as knives stabbing at soul.
Left her
crumpled and alone;
little girl
just wanted to go home;
Never felt so

Returns with retribution.
Shotgun blasts
ringing out in crowded space;
ripping through flesh
and screams
and screams
and six hands
pleading for mercy
three voices
silenced by raging bullets
three bodies
dropping to floor
and many more that followed
caught in the cross-fire and madness
of a little girl
screaming to the masses:




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