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Submitted by
L.S. Asekoff, Faculty, Brooklyn College
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 warily wave back at you & smile.
There's a strangely familiar scent in the air -
Oranges? Oleander? Myrrh? -
A nanosecond before 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.
The Conquerors

They showed us the white flower of surrender
They showed us the red
They fell down before us at the gates of their city
Terrible to behold we hovered above them
Lords of the Air
We promised them the peace
That passeth understanding
We promised them the freedom of the broken knee
Only the conquered can know
Rumors arose strange premonitions
A talking fish a white crow
& news of uprisings in the distant provinces
Trouble closer to home
Victims killing victims a priest cried
Who is blameless?
The Lords of the Air who dare not touch earth?
Those who kill without risking death?
Following the itinerary of stars
We returned to our city
There we found they had raised in our absence
At the center of the great walled marketplace
A statue to Phobos
God of Fear
As they fell down before us
Perhaps we can be forgiven for asking
Having lived so long among strangers
What is there to fear?


—L.S. Asekoff, Brooklyn College