Beast of Empathy

I know the things that others are
I too could be
there’s the root of empathy and compassion
the well-spring of the oft condemned
bleeding heart
but it also means worse
to know the brutal beast of war
stirs in the breast of every man, woman, child
in me
a key
one that turns in me
opens the lock of selfish survival
where I deify the gun
turn it into spitting salvation
an omnipotent, omnipresent savior
never to be put down
until wrested from my cold dead hand
then there’s the other of self-indulgent misery
forever gazing in victimhood’s mirror
sobbing for forgiveness
for myself again
or there’s me
raping the wife
a spoil of chaos
each thrust a bayonet to the enemy
and when the penis fails
stab her babe
before her and her already dead husband’s eyes
but I could command lawyers, financiers
raise rent year after year
collect my spoils
evict when the neighborhood improves
kick the stricken pricks to the curb
if only for the power
to command bombers, soldiers
order the murder
mass destruction
while quietly eating filet mignon
munching frites
picking kids up from school
smiling at
kissing the little woman
it’s all so easy
butchery and simple living

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