What We Hide Beneath Our Coats by Christina Butcher

 

Senseless and deeply

Disappointing, our cities

Are draped in gunfire.

 

The violence hangs across

Our shoulders

And

 

We wear it like a two-bit,

Woolen coat

Hard to shed amidst the rain

And the endless pursuit of power

And fame

 

And ‘unavoidable’ we say.

Un

Over    whelming

Un       resolved

Un       civilized

Over    inflated

Some claim

In         conceivable

 

All undeniably

Real.

 

The bullets

Mark us, stain us red

 

Leaving our hands and faces

Pockmarked

 

Like a shame-faced girl,

Hiding in the bathroom.

 

It seems we cannot. do not.

Will not. Stop it.

 

We simply

Don’t know how

 

Anymore.

 

So we lower our

Expectations, instead,

 

And zip our coats

Until the teeth catch on the slide

 

We turn further and further into the rain.

 

Content to stay dry

Here, somewhere

 

Inside the lining.