The Satirist

When you beat a man,
kick him in the shins
then the stomach, then the face,
bash his head on a rock,
throw him wincing with pain,
in the gutter and spit on him,
Does it feel good? Do you like it?
Do you like the rush, the surge,
the rage with which your insides churn?
Do you think you taught him a lesson,
Do you think you killed a race?
You’d be a hero back home,
You’d order your children to press your feet,
bring you your whisky,
make them sing Johnny Johnny,
kiss them when they do,
make love to your wife.
You’d send crates of mangoes to your parents,
the son who moved in the city, and up in the world.
would they taste like blood?
will they notice it?
Did they beat you, because you were hungry and they had no money?
Did you resent authority, the government?
Did you aspire to be your own government,
kill, extort respect, fear?
And find respite in your children’s future,
Do you want your children to be their own government?
If you were to walk on your son raping a neighbour,
Would you hush it up, forgive him, tell him you’ve done worse?
Will he admire you?
Show you how he can set a man on fire,
and watch it melting,
If you come home to your son’s corpse,
Would you cry or curse him?
Would you cry for those people,
You thought you killed a race,
Did you kill your son?


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