To Whomever Shot Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa
To whomever shot Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa,
Eighteen and nineteen years young,
A lesbian couple walking through
A Texas park,
You may have contributed to another
Another lost family
With no answers
Only empty bedrooms
And funeral arrangements.
What kind of creature murders
And calls it “God’s will”
Before their victims even have
A chance to draft their own?
Finds an innocence
And gains pleasure
In exploiting it?
When Kristene awakes alone
In her hospital bed
Will you tremble?
Will your bones play tambourine
In the shadow of your guilt?
Love can change people,
Can harden flowing magma
Into solid rock
At the immediate exposure of the surface.
How hot did Mollie and Kristene
Have to burn to shake you into action that night?
How does teenage love so eager
And so new singe flesh so quickly
That it sends strangers
Into fist coiling fear-
Into closets filled with rifles or handguns?
Are you a hunter?
I imagine a deer head hangs boastfully
In your living room.
A murdered carcass
Will surely prove how civilized
I am certain your mentality
Was to issue a message to the community,
To fire a fatal warning shot
Into the cracked vertebrae
Of a revolution
You are not prepared to bear witness to-
An uprising that is far too late
The neighbors all said it was so difficult
To imagine anything like that happening
How is anything so difficult to imagine anymore?
No child wakes up
And prepares for martyrdom.
They do not tie shoelaces
And wonder what movement they will become
The face of.
Rodney King did not receive
A formal education
In iconography and activism.
They were carelessly selected
By the reddened faces of
How sloppy and clumsy and stupid you were.
Kristene is not the only victim who survived.
In your madness
You targeted bullets from a handgun
Never meant to embolden crowds of thousands
Who light candles from windowsill,
Who sway vigilant in summer dusk,
This poem is my finger on the trigger-
Your only warning shot.
You are going to need a lot more bullets
to kill us.
Ashley Catharine writes poems, obviously. She was a member of the 2011 LA slam team, has a degree in fashion design, and is addicted to diet coke. She’s performed at Inkslam, the National Poetry Slam, the Costco employee break-room, and in the upcoming documentary, “Damn Wonderful.” Find more at thatstarvingartist.com