reprise of heroism

you thought of dinner tables
the clinks of silverware
among lukewarm food, bare lightbulbs
emit weakened golden shine on tablepanes
everything pared into shapes and rusted chassis
impulses beam in tabloid glaze,
scissors cut down ribbons to new towers
unwound with commercials of bygone camping trips
the flicker of campfires and laughter with dirtied hands
murderers in black and white.
children lapsed into broadcast abattoirs, parents only sigh
shaken heads and turned backs saying you should know better
comedies and tragedies, praise for finished chores
work at old mills, warmth of hands worked in factories
the cool relief of sodas on break-times and vulgar backroom talks
talking plans in the evening, tomorrow or long vacations
all bright things that filled bouquets
daydreams of finer days, catching a ball on baseball fields
now rolling over crumbling dirt and faded chalk lines on family tapes
the cheers off grandstands at the home run battings
receiving billed applause from garage band hijinks
playing remembered riffs, the twang off frayed guitar strings
stepping from concrete to hardwood conservatories
everyone wants to be great emerging to stagelights
as if you could be there on the fortunate crosswalks of beauty
away from these rushed gatherings
comforted by films of summer romances at sunset stadiums
yet hurried to become part of those blurring crowds
already departing, left to barren streets, soft kernels from glowing windows
not even a late night worker whistling whilst taking out the last bag of trash
pantomimes of pleasant days, figurines in colourful shirts
you never liked carnivals, fair cheeked dolls and high toned voices
spilled watermelon on cartoon executions
our homes always fall apart, flowers tearing off pastel wallpaper
crevices revealing planks upholding our pleasant rooms
faint electricities, phantoms cling to streets after amphetamines
where your steps stumble yet beat across the tarmac
sensations dissolve from hands that now twitch for arias
where the world could blossom from its meshed avenues
into passing faces and lavished rooms beyond windows or images
your father told you once to seize what you want, choking the air in a fist
your mother only consoles you, saying everyone had to be something
every night, white ceilings, no nightmares, only a pause without image
hammers clank on railroads out of ashclouds in posters
great leaders, empires raise marble avenues and corniced apartments
from podiums, hands reach out for futures of family picnics
you were told that strength was all you could be
clamours writhing until smothered into seethed breaths
even if you only bore silence and stuttered niceties
urged by teachers facing murals of stick figures hands sewn in merriment
multicoloured circles and dotted eyes, those same faces
even witnessing deaths, you never crumpled to sadness
hearing the wailing of family members, you only held
rifles fired over coffins, these once solemn men
imagined them too wild with adventure, that they knew sudden will
vaulting them across topogaphies where plains might unravel new places
soldiers on television walk through deserts in sunglasses
the decoration of heroes granted out of clouds of sand
chewing gum by humvees and gruff shouts to applauses
don't we all just want to be the good guy
fireworks were only for days of celebrations when even the end of guardrails
were worth waiting around in, even if the road ends something would come
entering the plaza, the glowing names of stores, names on documents
flashes of light rip suns pulsating off glass reflections, dust already powders the square
pulled bolt catches over crumpled and shorn bodies
nor mannequins, screams and begging
reaches only a pit in the lungs, no one else understands
hands effaced in the squeeze of the trigger, cool air battered out of air conditioners
flashes of taut muscles reining in unsteady aim, sore shoulders
fruit remains peeled on food court tables, red dresses lay torn among shattered glass
almost sparkling on floors with spilt cola,
in powdered sunlight dust arranges itself in veils
like cosmonauts and constellations
amorphous leaves blazed in the vestibule
ridding ourselves of frailty and aborted longings
dismembered in mounds of flesh over floors sunlight spilled across
reeking of what was thought to be warmth in minty air that polished tile,
televised light receding into flattened panes of electronics stores
tactical teams assemble before you, mass wails from sirens off armoured vans
boots marching through a wave of images and signals
conferences warped into commercials and red carpet viewings
helicopters circle around the complex, the parking lot cordoned off
the crowds gather for spotlights and whispers of scandal
were those lights from cameras glass flowers in a pasture you could never reach
didn't we just want to be someone in the end
perhaps you knew it was wrong, only bad guys were vanquished on tv
that final look of repentance in a tender face before bleeding out
heaps of spotlighted entrances in black boxes, screens warp facial geometries
blackened globe eyes oblique with hunger, empty hands finally gripping
the action begins, a rush of armored units and hulking kevlar vests
the shine off black helmets and their single file entry
clearing empty halls, the slight twitch at the sight of corpses
a gloved hand placed on the injured, hugging them on exit
orders boom down the tile grids, mp5s pointed at broken glass and open doors
the agents of tomorrow from the coming daylight
protecting infinite hope and darting games transmitted in powerlines
leaving some to wait on empty cafe tables and wilting flowers
looped waves of footsteps and thrusted laughs haunting concourses
approaching officers in all capitals
the final lights of exposure and muzzle flashes, the man on the movie poster
clutches a beretta pistol against the wall shielding his eyes, hyperstylized vengeances
keeled body, blood bursts through veins, high pressure circuits
over-stimulated arteries now find exit in profuse spills or red arches
just an empty hand, crooked fingers plump at the tips
finally proving that even with everyone's insistence that things will be better
nothing could become or remain even under trembling spotlights
exempted from effortless becomings, all with tuneful greetings
to trade futures scattered to prism high rise offices
your parents hoped for in deserted streets that still wait
talking of dreams swallowed in plastered blankness,
skies isolated in windows of once still afternoons that beckon
perpetually receding in our chuckles from riotous play
now wishing you could just be stable objects, everyone could forget
you find a bathroom, pallid lights and hidden wounds, the soundtrack muted,
yelling at reflections that could do anything but become something else
even if warped moons bulge on concrete
another atrocity spoken of at dinner tables with hushed tones
SWAT units exit to the flashes of cameras and relieved sighs
politicians condemning, officers saying they have contained the situation
panicked shiftings of masses etherize yesterday’s oft-walked alleyways
no longer waiting near romantic streetlights where people found each other
up and down avenues as silhouettes wash into concrete speckled in collisions
of vituperations yelling for that better world heaving change in new posters
for tamed commotions feigned by these adrift bodies
the cold tiles wash away those everfloating limbs
the jeers of the afflicted still damp in tears
shining in the footage of the upcoming wake but it all seems okay
even in fluoresence and black ceramic