Text Messages from the United States of Gun Violence

Image: Chloe Moore

Image: Chloe Moore

these are the text messages you receive when you live in the United States of Gun Violence

guys why are we in a lockdown?

i'm not sure

i heard there was a shooter threat

what?

like a shooter shooter?

fuck.

hey my nephews are in lockdown because

someone threatened to shoot up their school

they're only six, i can't believe

someone threatened to shoot up their school

i'm so scared

someone threatened to shoot up their school

hi i know i haven't seen you in ages but

my classmate got shot last night

he wanted to play football but

he got shot last night

i don't know what to do, I never through this would happen here but

my classmate got shot last night

a campus got shot up two hours away

two kids are dead on a campus two hours away

i don't know how to handle a shooting being only two hours away

guys i've been in a lockdown for two hours because

a kid brought a gun to school

i'm safe, well, i'm under a desk but

a kid brought a gun to school

i already texted my mom

a kid brought a kid to school

i'm crying at home because

my classmate said he was going to shoot up school

everyone is absent because

my classmate said he was going to shoot up school

i don't know how he got a gun but he said

he was going to shoot up school

fuck fuck a kid jumped in front of a shooter

he was 18 he was going to graduate

he jumped in front of the shooter

his dad told him not be a hero and

he jumped in front of the shooter

did you see the news?

it happened again

oh no fuck where did

it happen again

how many this time? i heard 11 / no it's 12

it happened again and

we've already stopped talking about it

guys 4 people are dead in D.C. and

one is dead in Baltimore and

a 4 year old accidentally shot himself in Philly and

i don't know what's going on anymore and

i'm writing it all down and

i can't believe I used to think this was normal but now

i don't recognize America

and every time i read the news this poem gets longer.