Fourteen Dead

(it happened yesterday evening, my time)

“Fourteen dead in San Bernardino.
What is this inhuman trend?”
From my journal last night,
wondering what is going on.

Serial killers (I say serial means
mass murder, whether happening
once or over time)—they enter a
community center “with long
guns.” (This from the news.)

They shoot and kill.
Maybe they are killed or
captured afterward. The
investigation goes on.

We once feared a hand upon
an efficient surface, fingers ready
to press a button, sending atomic
missiles into space to fall back
to earth again in a foe’s land.
We still fear this.

We fear that killing from
afar lacks the moral intimacy
in killings of the past. We
worry about drones this
way. And we still have
more personal ways to kill.

Does a gun make the murder
seem distant, too? Pull a
shiny trigger, bullet travels
through a silvery barrel, the
target is hit. No personal contact
yet. Like the launch, is this
too easy, too?

If never done before, maybe
so. Or maybe when one
kills, there is no person there.
Only an objective.