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Hero Presently Between Sunsets

Do you ever forget where you are-
This concrete bar code of a city-
And walk outside without ID?
Like I did today, knowing that if a car
Dove out of the dark
And splashed back into it catching me
In its deadly arc no one would ever know
Who my body used to be.
So I went back and found my wallet, closed my eyes
Then read the name there to see if I’d guessed right.

Then to the unemployment office where,
Under occupation, I put "Hero-
Presently between sunsets."
While I wait for a stranger to call my name
To tell me what type of work
I can do for the rest of my life I read
That the premier wants to get tougher
On the young and on judges who let the young
Constantly get away with the law. No punks,
He says, should be allowed to make anyone feel
Like a stranger in the concrete streets
Rippling ever further from water.
Everyone has the right to live safely anonymous.

So I go to see my last movie for awhile,
Before my money flies south for the summer
And this middle-aged guy three chairs away
In the empty row in front
Turns from his wife to me and snaps
"Have you got a tic?" "What?"
"Have you got a tic? You keep kicking
The chair in front of you!" "Sorry," I say
And I am because the movie’s starting.
But maybe when the action gets loud enough
I can pull his head back and play “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”
On his throat with a slit, jagged straw.
And someone a few rows back
Will stick their hand in their popcorn
To find the butter warmer, stickier, darker.
His wife will only shake her head at the sound
She thinks is her husband slurping his pop.
It might be that easy to kill a stranger
Who had made a stranger out of me in the dark.
Otherwise I can see myself in court
For kicking a chair and his lawyer arguing
That I was well within the five-chair perimeter
Nattily dressed middle-aged moviegoers
Have a right to defend.

Did you ever forget who you are
And become who you felt like at the moment?
But then maybe you never have and I only frighten you,
The stranger reading this, and you’re already thinking
About reading into a nicer neighbourhood,
Like that quiet novel over there.
Or maybe we can both agree this city has become
Too big for the both of us, or too small.
We're all waiting to pick our sunrise,
Follow it to our own high noons
Before skyscrapers completely shadow
The last white-blue screen of sky.