Dubiously framed as third-world proverb,
dusted off and paraded as realpolitik
but consider: my new-found friend
(or second-generation enemy)— what if
he has an enemy, do I watch
my back doubly, or trust
my new friend to keep a newer enemy
at bay? And in such a hostile world
where enemies and pseudo-friends
line up and interlock
like some geopolitical zipper,
what happens when the killing starts?
Do old alliances detonate at the seams
and teeth go flying everywhere?
Or, if two enemies somehow make up
does everyone then flip-flop
on down the line? Whew. I need to drop
what I’m doing, build some empathy
with the child that drags me from my post
before the television, him and the children
of those bombers and snipers and plotters.
Or failing that, tally the rows
of cordwood corpses, all those
paired and empty eyesockets
echoing neither love nor hate
just brimming with questions.