***trigger warning: violence in Lexington***

Do I scare you?

What’s that feeling in your stomach
                  when you admit needing to breathe
                                           between sections of my poetry?

Remember that day
somebody pulled a gun
in Fayette Mall?
                              (It’s happening in our city)

Didn’t even know we had a mobile command center.
It’s not something you really think about
until it’s pulling in front of you in traffic.

I also remember the night
gunfire broke out in the parking lot
of my then-favorite bar,
leaving three wounded
            the vague texts
                             in the following morning
                    filling in through
                                                                the day

the traumatized friends.

Have I scared you?
What’s that breath of fresh air
                                                        you need before the next stanza?

I guarantee you,
better here in a poem
than someday on the news.

Because according to the official timeline of that bar shooting,
only about a minute had passed
between my pulling out the parking lot
and the pulling of the first trigger.