Police Procedurals

A man
in an apartment bathroom,

A man
in a store backroom,
six hundred miles away
from the first man,
shot and also

There is no connection
between them
beyond the narrative thread
the producers spin here and stretch
between these bodies as if 
randomly chosen deaths
may develop a meaning
when described together,
something to touch those of us
untouched beyond
the present moment’s discomfort
at hearing their loved ones wailing 
at the revelation of these murders

that at some distance
make up our afternoons,
fill our empty hours.

So: two men.
Both dead; 
one Black, one 
Mexican. Both
between the ages of 
twenty-five and forty.
Each mourned now onscreen
by relatives
unwilling to talk

to the police, who also now
serve our entertainment as well as
our social order.
They appear weary from playing
the roles, but do not

relent or walk away until
someone suggests
a mundane plot twist:
a robbery,
a drug deal,
love stories gone
spontaneously wrong, personal 

these victims never die
for esoteric reasons, for cult
sacrifice, for conspiracies; 

the murderers,
when found,
are just as mundane
and often
break down under interrogation
that calls upon
Jesus and rationalization
to explain it all

and they often
cry and the cops

high-five or thank each other
before heading home to 
loved ones, weary but

We change the channel,
weary but vindicated:

fear and entertainment
are best found

out there, not in here;
out there among those others
is a world of one
casual and boring 
after another and so
we swear anew
to love our police
and honor them 
in one series marathon

after another.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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