Names I will learn soon/Buffalo, Uvalde, Tulsa, ...

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For the families

Between two storms I walk my dog
after a mass shooting near my home

there is a clinic and a hospital as
helicopters hum above, three hours now.

My god, who pulled the trigger
and who pulls the trigger inside?

Sirens wail as my dog wags his tail
loaded with delight. As we head home

the sun sails in satin pink through the clouds
dripping purple ink into a poem,

or whatever this is. This is no escape. Danger
surreal to itself dust worn and shelved

like a forgotten tome of tombs of names
4 are dead 4 are dead 4 are dead 4 are dead

I cannot forgive myself if I let the sky
between the storms be beautiful

before 4 were not-so-dead.
At home, my love still sleeps,

I see my phone, “update: 5 are dead” –
and I wait for her to wake…

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About the Author

Zhenya Yevtushenko is one of the sons of the late poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. He is a published translator, a former substitute teacher and funeral home consultant. Currently, Zhenya has resumed pursuing his undergraduate degrees in Political Science, History and English. Zhenya aspires to become a Foreign Service Officer and a literary translator. He resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma and owes his inspiration to his brothers, his mother, and to the love of his life, Olivia.

Zhenya Yevtushenko
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