It’s awful but it’s true; he told a really good joke.
I knew him years before he and that guy shot that girl dead up in Olympia.
Before the shaved head and sleeve tattoos in the mugshots and local news clips.
We were once at a pool party in the same backyard.
We went to the same high school. We weren’t that close.
I remember his first profile picture with the brown beanie.
I clicked the headline before I knew he was responsible;
Gruesome Home Invasion, victim, 17, brains on pavement.
I ran into him at a bar a few months before it all happened.
He was definitely different, but mostly the same.
He told some jokes and yes, they made me laugh, really really hard.
And yes, they were disgusting. You wouldn’t think I’d be
the type to laugh at those kind of jokes, but I did.
And yes, he loved his mother and yes, he smoked weed
and yes, he probably meant that Bible quote he posted to Instagram
before they walked into the house and shot that girl dead.
I don’t know how he felt after, how he feels now.
But for him, it’s probably gonna be life.
If you think it’s all pretty evil, I would say there’s definitely
some truth to that. It’s hard for me to seperate it out,
like knowing land from a border. I wish I could say it never happened,
I wish I knew the whole story. But I don’t think anyone ever will. 

©2023 Niall Cunningham