The Tower
(A poem of witness for the University of Texas tower shooting Aug. 1, 1966.)
By Adriana Barker


God blinked,
and Satan stole lives
under the cover of darkness.


What does the shattering of bone
sound like?


Is it a pencil snapped in half,
or a quick swipe of nails
on a chalkboard?


Does an unborn baby cry
when it is killed?


Does it open its mouth
into the wet
and scream
before going still?


Does that limp pinky
belong to you? There — on the ground.
There’s a ring and middle right by it, too.


What does a bullet taste like?
Is it cold and smooth,
or hot and sharp?
It passes through the mouth
so quickly.


When the blood bursts
from its contained river
in the arm,
when it jumps its banks,
where does it go?
When it gets outside,
does it carve the name
of the person who released it
onto the sidewalk?


God opens his eyes again,
bids men to quickly climb the tower.
Hurry, men. Hurry to the top.
Euthanize the devil’s pet.


Men, when you put a bullet in his head
did you hear Satan’s laugh fading?

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