For The Boomers
By Tony Brown

After binging all our lives
upon celebrity,
we came to a day
when it began to retreat
beyond our reach.

Idols and
villains, icons and underbelly alike
fell from pedestals
into the murk of death
and sank away from view;

in response
we slandered the natural order
and claimed that all deaths
of those we claimed as our beacons
happened too soon,
and like beachcombers
we swept the sand
where they’d just been walking
for tokens, shells they’d left behind
before falling.

Now and then we’d find one
with a sharp edge, cut ourselves,
bleed a bit. We’d say, we never knew
this — how dare they fail us, or how dare we
be failed by them.
Some of us promptly
tossed the shells far into the surf,
out to where the celebrities
had disappeared,
and tried to forget the wounds
and how they came by them.

Some of us began
to wonder and rage
at the folly of pedestals.
Some of us breathed easier.
Knowing we weren’t long for this
blood-taking world, we offered thanks
for that relief from having to smash them,
from having to see them smashed.

We made them, we said;
that was our work. That
was our deal with Death:
we’d make a place
for immortals in our lives,
and Death would let us forget
about our own mortality
for a while, for a blazing,
unexamined while.
Now our work is done,
even if we are not quite ready for
the killing tide
that’s coming to make that true.

Tony Brown lives, writes and fronts the Duende Project in Worcester, Mass.