first words

when
frayed books
in
frayed schoolbags
become
an Official Threat
at an Official Whim

when
a made-in-china
mass market
fickle prop of play
becomes
an
unmade-in-jenin
12-year-old Man

when a little girl
‘scared to death’
according to the
Official Transcript
is ‘shot to death’
instead

and three-year-olds
who won’t sit still
could lead
to
“confirmation of a kill”

I wait for my
baby cousin
to ask-
“they shoot children don’t they?”