I have a vision of each shooting incident like a flame, a small deep whoosh like when the paper in the back ignites, before you can feel the heat or see anything; the soundless eating lip against the newspaper more blue than orange, blackening, hot but not dangerous until it reaches your fingers; spurts on this side and that side and in the middle and at the south and north and east and west until sparks fly from sea to shining sea and it all alights, combustion unstoppable then, even wet wood will catch and sizzle and dead matter will fly up the chimney and then nothing will remain, cinders, smoke, no living leaping flame, no spark, soot and ash waiting to be cleaned until spring comes and birds nest in the flue.
I have a vision of this place in flames.
McDonald's signs cracked and half-fallen. Starved Calvin Klein models graffitied and torn. Statues muscling each other out of city blocks, until their foundations decay and they topple.
Topple, Rome. Burn. All cities burn, eventually. I wrote that once.
Yesterday's heroes tomorrow's enemies today's talking heads. Flap flap flap flap flap. Birds nest in the flue.
Put your hands over your face before the camera snaps a picture. Open your mouth in a wail. Learn to do this before you are seventeen. Later, but not too much later, look for your open mouth on CNN. Look for it every two or three days. Look for it on routine anniversaries. Silver and gold. Carbon steel, the anniversary metal for these occasions. A common amalgam. Melted together and left to set in a mold, which is then shattered to create a death-object.
I have a vision.
It is kinder than the truth.