Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

if i were a soldier

I don’t think the world will end with the weapons I’m guarding. I don’t think this empty stretch of damp concrete adumbrates the future of the cities when the war machines level the buildings and all the towers fall into a rubble of concertina wire and dying men in isolation suits and nuclear winter.
I’m in front of the dangerous weapons, watching storm clouds tumble all over each other like lovers wrapped in gray pillows frantically rolling into the moment of the rain.
I think that the end of the world will come when the people choose to leave the cities for the wild places.
Someday people will forget why soldiers and healthcare and schools matter. We’ll just walk away into the green hills like African Bushmen. It happens everyday somewhere, when men and women decide to walk away from homes and civilization and become bums or survivalists. It happens en masse in Africa, Canada, China, South America, and the Pacific Islands. People just collectively stand up, and walk into the wilderness with nothing but a knife and a vague sense of primitive purpose.
And some folks will try to hold on to civilization. We’ll be guarding these places like soldiers until no one knows why – not even us. And cults will form around these sacred spots. And radiation poisoning will claim any who defile the temple. And civilization will start over around these forbidden places.
I tell my fellow guard about how Bacchus made the pirates into dolphins, and they swam away, joyfully into the sea, with a freedom the children of Athena – like us – will never know.
He tells me I should read the Bible and give up all these false mythologies for the love of Jesus Christ. He tells me that he’d love to pray with me.

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