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The War Criminal Rises and Speaks - text

The heart wants to feel. The heart wants to hold
The heart takes past
Subway, past Stop and Shop, past Beal’s, and calls it “coming home”
The heart wants a trail away from “alone”
So the heart turns a sale into a well-worn milestone

Towards hard-won soft furniture, fought-for fast food
Defended end table that holds paperbacks and back U.S. News
The mind turns an itch into a bruise
And the hands start to twitch when they’re feeling ill-used

And you’re almost back now, you can see by the signs
From the bank you tell the temperature and then the time, and the billboard reads some headlines
The head wants to turn, to avert both its eyes
But the mind wants to learn of some truth that might be inside reported crimes

So they found a lieutenant who killed a village of kids
After finishing off the wives, he wiped off his knife and that’s what he did
And they’re not claiming that there’s any excusing it
That was thirty years back, and they just get paid for the facts the way they got them in

Now he’s rising and not denying. His hands are shaking, but he’s not crying
And he’s saying “How did I climb out of a life so boring into that moment?
Please stop ignoring the heart inside, oh you readers at home!
While you gasp at my bloody crimes, please take the time to make your heart my home
Where I’m forgiven by time, where I’m cushioned by hope
Where I’m numbed by long drives, where I’m talked off or doped

Does the heart wants to atone? Oh, I believe that it’s so
Because if I could climb back through time, I’d restore their lives and then give back my own
Tens of times now its size on a far distant road
In a far distant time where every night I’m still crying, entirely alone”

But the news today always fades away as you drive by
Until at dinnertime when you look into her eyes
Lit by evening sun - that, as usual, comes from above that straight, unbroken line
The horizon - its rising is a given
Just like your living

Your heart’s warm and kind. Your mind is your own
Our blood-spattered criminal is inscrutable; don’t worry, he won’t
Rise up behind your eyes and take wild control
He’s not of this time, he fell out of a hole

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