Photography by Ellen Kuntz
Months have passed
Indiana and Santa Fe long forgotten.
I saw his hat with the peace sign
on the television;
a mockery of those journalists
with their twisted fascination
with these monsters.
I saw the videos of his plans,
I saw his chasmous pupils and his lips move
as he spelled out the demise of 17 people.
“You’ll all know my name,
you’ll all see my face.”
We have his face and his voice
forever scarred in our minds.
We are fickle.
Stop rolling commercials through the horror,
stop the condolences,
stop the formalities and colloquialisms
in the face of tragedy,
stop the mental health,
stop the gun control,
stop acting like you understand,
stop juggling topics beneath studio lights,
stop stepping up to the microphone
and preaching your agendas
as if you were some holy prophet,
Why must there always be a limelight?
Why must there always be a stolen show?
An ulterior motive?
What do you expect,
for our obedience
in the light of your resilience,
in the face of your eloquence,
us to quote you
as if hurling salvation towards one another?
Is that what you desire?
17 people died on Valentine’s day,
and hundreds more before them.
The victims are no longer recognized,
but the evil is.
The perpetrator is romanticized,
his life outlined as if he is a saint,
Their wishes are fulfilled after their deaths,
and their retrospect is filled with vile pride.
The narrative, the drama,
the faults of the human condition;
they’re too delectable,
too tantalizing for us to ignore.
We are fickle.
Emily Tschetter is a student at Billings Senior High, and frequently embarks on awesome adventures with her family and friends. She is a musician who focuses mainly on cello, and she writes in her free-time. She participates on the teen council for Planned Parenthood, and she is actively involved in Moms/Students Demand Action for Gun Sense. She was also one of the main organizers of the Billings March For Our Lives.