Close Your Eyes by Jordan Taylor Dubin [Poetry]

Close Your Eyes
Written by Jordan Taylor Dubin

Close your eyes
Imagine turning on your phone
Opening up Facebook
And immediately seeing the words
“Pray for CHAMPS
Shooting on campus”

Close your eyes
Imagine all of the air
Being taken from your lungs
A silent drowning
To go with a punch in the gut
CHAMPS was your high school
CHAMPS is your sister’s high school

Close your eyes
Imagine having to walk to class
Like a 21-year-old with Parkinson’s
Tears filling your eyes
Fear filling your entire being

Close your eyes
Imagine calling your mom
The phone shaking against your cheek
You hear
“She’s okay”
But not feeling an ounce of relief

Close your eyes
Imagine texting your sister multiple times in a row
Telling her that you love her
Telling her that everything will be okay

Close your eyes
Imagine that the only response from your sister
Is a kissy face emoji
Realizing that the words you have written
Are an unconscious form of self-protection

Close your eyes
Imagine clearly remembering news from two days ago
September 20, 2018
As if it is happening now
Repeatedly happening

Close your eyes
Imagine being miles and miles away
From your baby sister
Your best friend
Who is not physically hurt
But mentally and emotionally destroyed

Close your eyes
Imagine knowing that no one was killed
But a teacher
A student
And innocent bystanders
Were shot and injured
They will be okay
Trying to find relief in those words

Close your eyes
Imagine being brought back to a conversation
That happened months ago
After coming home from CPR and First Aid training
Telling your mom that you had to prove you knew
What to do in the case of an active shooter

Close your eyes
Imagine your mom telling you
“If that happens, you have to call me”

Close your eyes
Imagine her eyes fill with tears
When you say
“I won’t be able to. I’m the teacher
And those are my babies
I can’t call my mom
When I’m theirs”

Close your eyes
Imagine sharing the news with your friends
Them asking if you’re okay when you’re silent
Them on their phones when you’re vocal
They don’t want to hear about a school shooting
I can’t say I blame them

Close your eyes
Imagine seeing a post from your favorite English teacher
Reading that he was teaching when everything started
All he said was

Close your eyes
Imagine seeing a long and detailed post from your mom
Reading that she cried all the way to CHAMPS
Standing outside
Watching her baby through a third-floor window
For hours
Unable to get to her

Close your eyes
Imagine standing against and on your bed
Seeing that Facebook post over
And over
And over again
Tears streaming down your face
Someone who takes care of others before herself
Always before herself
Could not take care of people she loves

Close your eyes
Imagine your sister at home
Her comfort zone
FaceTiming her
A forced smile on your face
Greeted by a fearful little girl
Disguised as a monotone monster

Close your eyes
Imagine your mom telling you
That your sister and all of the kids in the class
Hid under their desks without having to be told

Close your eyes
Imagine a room full of kids knowing what to do
During a lockdown
Exactly what to do
Because it has become the norm

Close your eyes
Imagine living in a world
Where seeing news
About a school shooting
Has become an almost everyday occurrence
Welcome to America

Close your eyes
Imagine feeling so guilty for feeling that way you do
Reminding yourself that
It wasn’t Columbine
It wasn’t Sandy Hook
It wasn’t Parkland
And no one died
Not one person
You weren’t even there
It’s not even about you
But it still hurts

Close your eyes
Imagine realizing that closing your eyes
Won’t actually do anything to help
Won’t help you
Won’t help anyone
The ally personality that has always
Been a part of you
Too afraid to come out and play

Close your eyes
But you don’t have to imagine
Because it’s true

IMG_7068 (7)
Jordan Taylor Dubin is an actor, theatrical mover, writer, teacher, and huge musical theatre nerd. She was born and raised in Southern California and is now living out her 13-year dream of living in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance & Theatre Performance and Psychology from Mills College. During the day she works as a theatre teacher and staff associate at a college, and at night she’s an editing manager and freelance copy editor. Jordan is thrilled to have the opportunity to be published in Rock the Pigeon. 
Instagram: @arts_n_smarts
Twitter: @_arts_n_smarts_

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