Carrie Nassif

apples for teacher don’t fall far from trees

january is named for the god of doors and gates (one was shot)
all endings and closings this year (after a high school ball game)

february was once a month of cleansing (three bodies left slain in)
how blood sacrifices purified and how they stain (the parking lot)

mars had all of rome marching back into the wars (the boy who won the argument was)
they had left during winter (shot dead in the back of the head by the one who had lost)

april comes from the latin “to open” (one shot himself in the mouth on the)
larval pupils emerge from dormancy (damp grounds of his catholic school)

and then the pagan fecundity in which (one barricaded in her office with his AK-47)
may protects us in this season (she talked him down before anyone else was hurt)
june’s stirrings are dedicated to all young men (he opened fire on the library on the cars)
and blessed by juno our matron of war (even a city bus had already lit his house on fire)
our goddess of fertility (just a mile from school with his brother and father asleep in it)

all hail julius who stole the republic for himself (when police opened fire)
but whose assassination couldn’t still the killing (it was suicide by cop)

august named for the majestic emperor who followed (a girl a twelve year old a carcass)
we would divine our futures from his myth and animal entrails (on the cracked blacktop)

september houses the autumnal equinox (another boy shot two classmates and then)
the volta the turn the juxtaposition the fall (he shot his teacher who was asking him to
put the gun down when he killed himself before any classes had begun that morning)

october the fickle tenth month means eighth (one more boy fatally shot himself)
this ambiguity is such a fragile thing (in view of those gathered in the courtyard)

november begins with the day of the dead and (this one shot another boy in the neck)
ends with giving thanks for genocidal myths (to resolve an ongoing dispute over a girl)

december sleeps the longest nights (two boys in the gym were twelve-guaged)
a cranial nerve for each month a dozen so easily frayed (right after the game)