— Buffalo

Again I break my vow
of no headlines. And again 
I renounce the world — we can
never foresee where despair 
will stake its claim. 
Night thins across the Willamette,
reminds me that cloud
enveloping rough-edged hills
is not a metaphor. That empathy,
luminous and opaque,
must be the language
of any god worth our love.
The weekend drifts in.
Zucchini bread,
Colombian pour-over lovingly tended.
I fret over the fading aralia. Surrender
to a long breath of the forest nearby. 
But life always 
has blood beneath its fingernails.
The news hits.
I plummet into litany:
our failure to teach critical thinking,
emotional intelligence,
and then — with the words
basic fucking humanity
spiking my mouth — I'm snared.
Yes: I may just hate  
these minds unschooled 
in the switchbacks of life
as much as they hate
whoever they fear is coming
to steal their mythos. I pray
for their enlightenment.
Ache for their disappearance.
And only now, only
in this vicious silence,
am I pierced: 
ten black corpses. 
Say: unfiltered pain
Say: helpless
Say: the us we can no longer abide