Speaking about the 21-year-old white man who went on a shooting rampage in Atlanta-area, Asian-owned spas and murdered 8 people, including 6 Asian women, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jay Baker said, “He was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope. Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.” Our Father, who could not be there to love and protect, starts in heaven but ends on the breath of everyone who did not safeguard these women. If you cannot give us back this day, this wretched, this ever-lasting, this utterly predictable, this graceless day, hollow be thy name. Take back now this daily bread of guns and hate. Give us back the murmuration of days, birdsong of days, lamentation of days, free-fall of days, the whole dam of days he took from them. Or else, forgive nothing while we are forced to live, day after day, with the open trepasses of coddled white men, Free us from the tiny confines of their impotent imaginations, where no temptation will bring us to the end of their manifold violence. Is this not thy kingdom? Come to the massage table, altar of the body in pain. Lead us to the human hands that knead your all-knowing heart, though you know as well as anyone, how grief is no deliverance. On earth, as it is in heaven, manifest this destiny. For we are yours, now and forever, are we not?
Pichchenda Bao is a Cambodian American writer and poet, infant survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, daughter of refugees, and feminist stay-at-home mother in New York City. Her work has been published by great weather for MEDIA, the Ilanot Review, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere. Her honors include an emerging writer fellowship from Aspen Words, a grant from Queens Council on the Arts, and a poetry residency at Bethany Arts Community. She is an Kundiman poetry is fellow. More at www.pichchendabao.com.
Shibazrule, aka Lisa D. Chavez, is a poet based in New Mexico. Her poetry books include Destruction Bay (West End Press) and In An Angry Season. (University of Arizona Press). She also writes memoir and fiction, and teaches in the MFA program at the University of New Mexico. She’s delighted to have the opportunity to be Guest Editor here at The Coop for the month of August.