Stained Maps

You were not meant

to be paraded

around in stout caravans

of confetti and trumpets

 

You were not meant

to bow at men

who smiled and cajoled

at olives on polished medallions

 

You were not meant

to be pounded

with mundane queries

and combat tales

 

You were not meant

to address students

behind the mask

of nobility and courage

 

You were not meant

to kiss fluterring flags

or seek refuge in

market cemetaries

 

You should have collapsed

as the bullet tore through,

like a stinging prayer

cursing your liver to leak

till the merchants

maniacal smirk soured

into tiny shreds

pushing files, pulling triggers,

slapping stained maps,

where unknown tombs resist