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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

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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

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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.

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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.