an open letter to zion who watched his auntie tay get shot


a police officer shot your auntie tay while you were playing a video game at home


is a first person shooter game set in america’s future
of course it’s a game because
in the present
where in this country could a boy like you
by being good
with a gun

the game is named after a ring of illumination around a dead person
so we are sure to see them as sacred

to summarize then
the game you and your auntie tay were playing
makes us think of a reward for both dying and killing

let us accept her death as the God particle
          science class one day
the tiny unstable that gives weight to everything in the universe and
could also one day be responsible for its
destruction and
in your little universe
the first person shooter video game we call
a body camera
showed that america might teach you how to comply with orders but
not let you
because what’s important
is that the people in helmets and bulletproof vests who carry guns
should feel safer
than a small hands boy and his soft like mother auntie

what then
do we do for you

i believe our job is to take up more space
you and me and the rest of us like you and me
because if your auntie could perish while playing something called
by a man wearing a video game about shooting
it is entirely possible
for us
to die of terrible poetry

so we have to take up more space
          be zion like mountain
          less move
          less shrink
          less ignore
you and me and the rest of us like you and me
or else
the largest organism on earth
          science class one day
will remain
armillaria ostoyae
a fungus in a forest in oregon
which grows bigger every single day
by feeding off the innocent breathing things around it
until they die
and decay

we must take up more space
you and me and the rest of us like you and me
or face the poetry that the largest living thing
in america
in this world
in fact
a murderer