Jeff Friedman

Praise Cruelty

He’s the god who watches over you,

making sure you get what you deserve,

forcing you to your knees

while you spit blood.

Cruelty imagines a better world

in which to punish you

sending plagues of locusts

and fire to scorch the earth

you walk on. Praise cruelty—

he’s always there when you need him

listening to your woes and snickering,

“You’ll never be the same,” he says,

“so why cry about it?”

Cruelty relishes your humiliations

just as you relish humiliating others.

He shouts at you, spitting in your face.

Cruelty takes you at your word,

then lies about what you said.

He wants you all to himself.

He takes your hand and walks

you through the past until you’ve had enough

of your own history to last a lifetime.

Praise cruelty:

He promises you a great return

on your dollar—“a little goes

a long way”—and delivers.

Stick with him and you’ll go places.

No depression for you, only rage.

You’ll dance on the graves

of your enemies, but only after

they dance on you.

 

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