A poem by Gregory Crosby
Gregory Crosby Marked Himself Safe During the Violent Incident in Las Vegas, Nevada
Easily done — I wasn’t there, except
I was. That morning I awoke from a
nightmare where I watched New York City burn
beneath a boiling mushroom cloud, someone
screaming nearby, but I couldn’t see them,
I was alone, I was watching the end
alone, waiting for the shockwave, waiting
to die alone with others, with others,
alone. I forced myself to wake before
the shockwave hit, my love next to me,
morning light at the edges of the room.
In my hometown, strange city of my heart,
a cloud awoke on the thirty-second floor
of Mandalay Bay — a black void in gold,
a missing tooth in the face of the sun,
a window that should never open, darkness
behind it, glinting. A line of fire.
First the flash, then the wave, wave after wave.
Am I safe? Yes, I’m safe. Am I safe? No,
no, I’m not safe at all. It never ends.
Someone always screaming nearby. Alone.
With others. It’s automatic. There’s no
dream, nothing to wake from. We’ve been awake
for a long time now. We have marked ourselves
safe so that others can die. Did a cloud
swallow the sun or the sun swallow
a cloud? A line of fire. A cloudburst.
The shockwave passes & we wait. We wait.