After a Faculty Meeting, I Read Plath

I will die again.  A school-shooter
simulation, and my boss tells me
the cops and medics need a victim 

Dying is an art.  I’m sure I’ll do it exceptionally well.

The first time was a decade ago.
Playing Rodrigo in an awful production of
Othello, my buddy Ray as Michael Cassio.
Our sword fight was unhinged tomfoolery–
my falsetto screams, Ray chasing me through
the audience.  It was theatrical.  Six extras
had to be cast just to heft my corpse
off stage.

My next death is scheduled:
February 18.  A week late.

After school, other teachers brought in
to play students.  Shooter man, shooter man,

your Aryan eye peers over the muzzle-capped
rifle.   I have always been scared of you, yet I stand,

run, No, don’t shoot.  But you do.  Your blanks
crackle.  Each dead child coils down.  Over the

intercom, our lockdown code melts into a shriek
of sirens, shouts.  Fake blood floods to a spot

on my shirt.  Waiting for the paramedics to black-
tag me, I eat time like air.

Jamie Dickson
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