Eating Pad Thai after a Mass Shooting

It is just hours after
the final bullets have found
their unwanted homes in El Paso
and my son tells me he’s hungry

Life goes on somehow,
in this case by my hands
scooping the leftover pad thai
into the pan and turning the flame

There is a flame consuming this country
a spark turned blaze turned wildfire
and there is no Paradise left on this land
nothing but fire & rage & cages for toddlers

Like my son, 3 years old,
he sits on the kitchen counter counting
how many spoons he can stick in his mouth
while I heat the peanut flavored noodles

(The answer is six. It’s all about the angles.)

All I can think about is numbers
20 in El Paso
9 in Dayton
3 in Gilroy just down the road

I can smell the garlic
I can see the blood
I can hear the cries
I can touch my son’s face

His blue eyes and blonde locks
my jewish boy straight outta Stockholm
all american white boy in the heart
of East Oakland, the heart of it all

What do we tell our sons?
What myths and mistakes
do we pass down like a baseball glove,
a family name, an automatic assault rifle?

This land of so many destinies manifested
through lynch mobs & smallpox blankets
and twitter mobs & detention center blankets
all ordered express delivery by white men

Like my son and me
here in this cozy kitchen
cooking noodles and counting straws
At least there is some evolution, right?

We have more to offer
than thoughts and prayers
quiet rage and countless layers 
buried deep beneath this skin’s false facade

I have my eyes to weep
my feet to march
my mouth to shut the fuck up
for once and just listen

And I have my hands
to serve this pad thai to my son
so that he may grow strong
enough not to be at the center
of the goddamned universe

and to understand that future
is something worth living for
so let us eat, son

Let us eat.