Rebel Angels

Standing before millions, bullet wound fresh in her leg

Sixteen year old Samantha Fuentes vomited, but kept her poise

Shining with intent, grief and anger burning through

little girl embarrassed smile


David Hogg, sitcom teen, all ears, arms and feet

Unbearably earnest, so grown-up,

Unlikely casting for the Devil


Emma Gonzalez trying to look tough

No bullshit

Six minutes and twenty seconds of silent tears before the nation

Her bald head a screaming newborn demand


Home haircut unfocused eyes

Nick Cruz screamed, “Help me.”

Thoughts, prayers were all he got.

He added emphasis, with bullets, and blood.

And $800,000 to the families of the victims.


A Haggadah For Another School Shooting in 2018

למה הלילה הזה שונה מכל הלילות האחרים?*



Ma nishtana ha lyla ha zeh mikkol hallaylot

Why is today different than all other days?

Not because we are weeping, again

Because we are tearing our country apart

One school at a time

Mountains of decaying textbooks

For Americans who don’t read anything over a few hundred characters

A crucible of cruelty

Adolescence was mostly a survivable horror

My job at seventeen to make spectacular mistakes

I excelled at it

I learned to get clean and sober only by indulging prodigiously

I discovered I loved school by skipping class and being a terrible student

I found true love and partnership by sleeping around with assholes

I found my passion by having six hundred different jobs

All of which was immensely entertaining

Except when it wasn’t

But I was never afraid

That someone was going to show up and shoot us

While I was getting stoned in the bathroom

I was afraid my Mom was going to call the theater department again

To say she knew I’d called myself n sick

Pretending to be her

That I was grounded

I was afraid I’d get in trouble for abandoning my bicycle when the chain broke

Two days before my sixteenth birthday

I was afraid that my brother would tell my parents he’d seen me on the television news with my friend Cindy at the marijuana legalization protest

who I wasn’t supposed to see

After my parents read my journal

My biggest problem was my parents read my journal

And thought friends caused addiction

We protested nuclear weapons, too

And tried to pass the Equal Rights Amendment

Forty years later, and marijuana’s legal, but I’m sober

It was early days, and we didn’t know about a world where mass shootings

would be commonplace

My college tuition was $300 a semester – I stayed 8 years full time

And I still don’t have a real job

America invested in the future of its young

You can tell what we care about

We put our money where it matters

And now our values are paying off

Painting our failure in teenaged blood

I used to laugh at the brains on the walls of Sunnydale High

I miss Fast Times at Ridgemont, Spiccoli’s insouciance

November, in the voting booth

Next year, in Congress


*This is the first line of the Passover Seder, celebrating the Hebrews escape from slavery in Egypt.  The final line is always, “Next year in Jerusalem,” signifying the two-thousand years of exile and diaspora.