A disturbing poem by Louis Asekoff , who will read tonight (Friday) at 7 p.m. Friday at Gemini Ink.

Empathy

In the Dream of Almost-Perfect-Peace,

you wave out the window to your enemy,

who looks up from his cup of coffee, the blue flicker

of morning news,

to cautiously wave back at you & smile.

There’s a strangely familiar scent in the air —

oranges? oleander? myrrh? —

just before the laser crosshairs home in on

the white towers of his city,

wiping him out in the screen’s green glare.

Yes, we are all brothers

under the well-oiled wheel of Empire,

& both feel the spear —

he, the shock of the sharp edge

piercing his innocent side,

& you, the shiver of the shaft vibrating back through

your equally innocent hand.

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