I am looking at the Medical Examiner’s chart. She has been shot 7 times. 7 pieces of metal are either in or have gone through her small body. The same height as mine. But more slender. Her face is beautiful. It was spared. They aimed at her middle.
I count the bullet holes on the front of the body diagram. Then on the back. There are more than 7 holes. Some bullets count for 2 holes each. In. Out.
What was she thinking when the first bullet struck. Did she feel it pierce her flesh. Did it burn. My hand goes to my stomach. I can feel the pressure of my blood as it rises through my body and up into my throat. Rises up my head and needs to be released. Through my eyes. Through tears. My breath catches. Did she feel them. Did she know. My stomach and heart ache. They are screaming: NO. Silently. Awfully.
I travel laboriously through the ME’s report. Bullet by bullet. Until they are all accounted for.
Photo: tree by me