Let’s practice getting under the desk.
Let’s practice barricading the door, turning the blinds
in our eyes. Shhh now. Let’s demonstrate
in utter silence. Every desk is a bunker in disguise.
I must have walked a hundred miles
in a single afternoon. No one followed,
pacing myself. Sunlight stained the leaves like glass.
Vine maples tangled in an avalanche of shine.
The protocol is not what you think.
The protocol is run hide fight. Step by step
the trail cut from granite
bleached and gleaming, strewn like the bones
of old calamity. Varied thrush
or rush hour radio, call note drowsy like a long fuse,
like pure denotation. Sometimes I hear guns
in the valley — pick-up trucks, tin cans, shattered bottles,
trigger trash. Sometimes I hear bullets
marching down the hall. Today there is no question
and answer. Today is only multiple choice —
the field trip wire lying in wait, mare’s tails combing the ridge
like movie weather. Crescendo of mountain.
Is this a classroom or a mortuary? Who can catch
a bullet in the mouth? Bullet points for extra credit.
Bullets for teeth, for the all above.