Fold your small child small, smaller, smaller still
within your palms. Smaller, so that you can
fit her between your molecules. Smaller, still,
so you can wrap her in your nucleus
so she’s always somewhere
closer than close can hold.

If only we could put the ones we lived in places
where we know they could never get hurt —

chest cavities
the soles of your feet
the places
between your
fingers.

For there are people who will hurt even the ones
who don’t know what hurt means. There are those
who will pull the trigger at a toothless and grinning
child who has never even seen a
gun.

The speed of a bullet travels is 1400 feet
per second. The sound of your heart breaking
and shattering across the floorboards when you
get the phone call saying that your child
may have been killed is
endless,
an echo of a
scream.

When children die, their parents don’t know
how to live with the other as a reflection of the one
that they had lost. This is the effect
of grief. You can never be around your own
reflection.

This is the color of the light the afternoon
we found out that someone could hate himself
and the world so much that he would kill
a child who doesn’t have a mark
on his skin.

You think of the smooth planes of a child’s cheek.
How they are drenched in such innocence, so much
that you could look at them underneath a microscope
and see only water
and more water.

This is the clearness of children.

And what can we do now? What can we do
but hold our children closer, fold them up smaller
within ourselves. Smaller, smaller still —
and make sure that they can never
get far enough
to let the world
hurt them.

Smaller, still, so that
we can always keep track
of their heartbeat against
yours.

“Elementary School Shooting,” Shinji Moon (via commovente)

Prayers for Connecticut.

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