(written in a time of paranoia and war)
Sometimes at pagan shrines, they vowed
offerings to idols, swore oaths
that the killer of souls might come to their aid
and save the people.
We asked for a tyrant. One
arrived, with tales
of spears and distant victories.
We swore allegiance to the tale-
teller, murdered the previous
in his bed, stoning the corpse with stones
dredged from wallsteads. We asked
to have killed every enemy under the sun,
some still in their youth. We asked
the tyrant to deliver fear, doubt, and adultery
to the sword, to bring low jealousy,
winter, suspicion, and summer alike;
we asked him to raze all
that could ever hurt us. He did,
the slaughter making an abattoir
of our schools, shops, and bedrooms.
We asked for extinction, then
never to be asked again about our
decision. The tyrant never questioned.