At the end of the century, there was no blood on our streets, no blood in the alleyways, no blood in the parking lots or driveways. But there was blood at the pump stations. There was blood in our water towers and in our pipes and streaming out of our faucets. So consequently, there was blood in our stomachs and bladders and in our toilet bowls. It was flushed into the ocean to wash up on foreign shores, turning the sand maroon before it flowed inland.
This was the end. This was a promotional t-shirt for a play that was the bastard child of Titus Andronicus and Our Town hung out to dry on a clothesline in a backyard one mile east of the Mississippi River, the sunlight fading it to white at an alarming rate.
I was sitting in my car when the free-verse hit me like a one-ton chunk of a crumbling overpass and I realized that the swastikas I saw carved into Jack O’ Lanterns as a kid were made by the rebellious older brothers of children who, along with these perpetually confused renegades, would one day inevitably wear a uniform even if their army was not one made to fight and even if they only wore a uniform for one day.
This was the crest of a wave which was never meant to splash down, but it did. And now as I walk the flooded suburban streets which lead to highways which lead to urban settings which is where I want to be, anyway, I’m tired of being asked to fill someone’s shoes. I’d rather be barefoot as I walk to my car, get in, buckle up, turn the key, shift it into “drive” and hit the gas.