FALL 2013 (Issue 80)

Suellen Wedmore

Why He Should Not Have Been Sold Six Thousand Rounds of Ammunition

                        —Aurora, Colorado, July 20, 2012


Because the young woman in the theater’s first row
            raises zinnias and her tomatoes are ripening,
because her baby is teething
            and her husband, away on business,
            dreams of three bare-legged girls
            eating ice cream cones.
Because, in July, monarchs lay eggs
            on the underside of milkweed leaves,
            and a hummingbird’s flutter
            stirs the nasturtiums,
and because today the sun rose with a green flash,
            le rayon vert, and I believed Jules Verne
            who wrote that those who see this
            will know love.
Because the white-bearded man in the third row
            has a schnauzer that needs to be walked,
and because his grandchildren are visiting tomorrow
            and he has four quarts of his own spaghetti sauce
            on a shelf in the freezer.
Because the balding man in the fourth row
            doesn’t want to die lonely,
and because the man and woman beside him
            are afraid to make a commitment.
Because the artist in the back of the theater
            will, for the rest of his life, swirling his brush
            into Winsor red, see blood,
and because the university student in row five,
            who speaks Shoshone with his grandmother,
            is translating Native American myths:
            how in the beginning, Wolf, the creator,
            shooting an arrow beneath the body of the dead,
            could call them back to life.