Saturday, 16 June 2007

American Sniper - Part Three


the hours evaporate like
the spit in my mouth
it's quiet down there now
and I'm
I follow a child through my sights
just for a bit of tracking practice
I haven't had orders, heard a word
for hours
I can hear the fighting echo
through the ancient streets
and alleys
blocks away
the fighting drew away all the armed men
who were looking for me
this ancient city
older than America
that blows my mind
I wish I knew more history
I wish I knew more about these people
I came here to kill

I track the child
a little boy
blocks away, another world away
he doesn't know or care what I did here
a few hours back
the little boy runs, he laughs
with his friend
he spins then falls
is he playing a game?
but then I hear the cracking echo
of my own rifle
the little boy's friend screams
and people pour from their homes
I don't feel any different about
kids or women or old people
or some insurgent fuck with an RPG
my president told me,
I'm doing God's work
anyone who dies
was supposed to die
even this little kid
we fight them here
so we don't have to fight them
at home

there's a lot of people running around
down there
they pick up the bits of the boy
that were blown off
there's frenzy and madness
two women scream like sirens
and hit themselves
I should call this one in
a little too much chaos
in the late afternoon
there's a unit with tanks
and a sound truck
only a few blocks away
this crowd looks like they could eat them
all alive
the metal and the flesh
their rage is like human

I didn't mean to kill the kid
But God must have wanted him
or else he wouldn't be dead now
the men are coming back
they see me peaking down
from my rooftop
and the yelling brings more men
pouring out of the houses I thought
were mostly empty
should have been empty
men running, a swarm
they disappear below the edge of my building
I can't see them
but I can hear them
coming up the stairs


the training kicks in
I'm a machine that will survive this
then the real me can take over
the controls again
I remember what I have to do
the lesson comes clear and loud
"to effect escape, give them dead,
but give them brutally wounded,
that'll keep them busy
buy some time, boy
you've got the cash"
I move across the roof
low and fast
I reach the stairs that lead down inside
they're coming up
a thick wad of angry men
one mass of flesh and hair and fury
I can feel the heat of their fury
hotter than the day
I drop two grenades down the stair well
and get the fuck out of the way
the building rocks beneath me
the stairs collapse
so much screaming
down below the street fills
with dust and crying
I dig my Uzi out of my kit
my back up, my toy
I empty the clip
into the crowd
more people fall
chaos and carnage
who ordered this disorder?

I'm sure I had another clip
more ammo, but I'm out
I've got a knife
more like a machete
my friend in the machine shop
back at base engraved
"Throat cutter" down the blade
how long have I got?
get on the radio, get the helo in

"get me out"
"we're coming in...soon"
"get me the fuck out of here!"

I call in my signal
tell them I'm under attack
confirm my location
they say, calmer than me,
"keep your head down, boy
there's a hell storm on her way"
I don't know that that means
but I understand
when I see it coming
it makes no sound
the sound hasn't caught up
the missile disappears
into the building next door
it seems to swell
the blasts and shock waves
crumple the facades of other buildings
pouring fat chunks of rubble into the streets
down onto the people
running into each other
over each other
panic like a poison gas
something happens to my ears
as the blast wave smashes me
throws me back, tumbling
I don't hear the cracks
just the dull twitch of nerves
cut off from communicating with each other
in my head
something snaps
and I can hear
like I'm hearing for the first time
but everything is muffled
I can't stand up
why can't I stand up?
I drag myself to the edge of my rooftop
and look for the others
like me
on their own rooftops

through the sweet, black smoke
and the dust, concrete and blood rain
I see another American sniper
he was in my helo coming here
they dropped him two blocks away
a crowd pours onto his rooftop
from the stairs he didn't destroy
he fires but the crowd only surges faster
they swallow him up, consume him
they throw things down off his rooftop
to the people below
just shapes at first
then I can see what they are
a helmet, body armour, boots
then other pieces
pieces of him
they tore him apart

the radio, the radio
I can't reach anybody
I don't even get static
what's the fucking good of all those
fucking satellites up there
if I can't even call for rescue?
when are they coming to get me?
why am I still here?


hours later, or maybe less than one
the radio, the radio
still doesn't work, like it will
never work again
like my legs, maybe
dull and limp
I push the button on my belt that tells them
something really fucked has happened to me
and they have to come and get me
pick me up, take me home
I push the button again

they told us
they can find us
down to two metre square proximity
I want to go home now
I need to go home now
be back in my bedroom
on the other side of the world
maybe if I play the video game again
it can be like this never happened
like a dream of a life
never lived
beyond the game
my bed, my old soft bed
my comics and my movie posters
my baseball gear
and childhood toys
I never threw away
I can see my mother standing
in the doorway of my room
looking down at my empty bed
as she wonders
what is happening to me
I know my bed has never been so warm
so comfortable
I will pull the blankets up over my head
like I did when I was a child
and when I pull the blankets down
this will all be over
the fading memory of a dream
that seemed more real
than real life
I will curl up in a ball in my bed
and dream of here
this place
this rooftop in Fallujah
and I will laugh and thank God
that I survived this
and then I will go downstairs
for pancakes
why doesn't the radio work?


it's still night
gunfire and flames pop and crackle
the sound truck blasting AC/DC is gone
echos of screaming
desperate crying
chanting mourning
reach my ears, but the dull wall
inside my head
still blocks most of the sound
turns it down, makes it thick
I bled from my ears as I slept
and dreamed of home
dreamed I was home again
but I woke up here
it's still night
but almost dawn now
I need water
my throat is on fire
I need bullets
I need food
I need to see that helo
coming in through the dust storm
that fills the distant sky
I hold my knife, ready
I can hear them coming up
to get me
now they've cleared the bodies
and wounded from where the stairs
used to be
I can hear them coming
I can't stop them but
I can secure my zone of defence
they come onto the rooftop
my rooftop in Fallujah
there's so many of them

Go Here For Part Four Of 'American Sniper'