The people of the regions
of conscientious fortune, of dykes, canals,
who know the rest of the world did not
have the state housing net,
have a hierarchy in distributing
empathy from bulging eyes
who is more oppressed, needs more
I am somewhere in the gray zone,
blacks are the magnet-skinned
for the fishing iron of self-appointed saviors
who keep the wheels of the financial robber nonetheless
well-oiled and efficiently smooth run like a pelican’s belly,
the survivors of mediterranean war zones, Balkan,
are a bit above me in this drowning well
of envy, rivalrous self-pitying slaves,
but I am a good swimmer, and can breathe
in the sea-bred nectar of pain, and extract light
that keeps my eyes dark as a Tuareg’s
in my face of a hated Jew, Slav, Turkish landlord.
I can swim and dart like the merlin, the barakuda
I cut the bare legs of girls,
refugee girls, white, negresses
I cut their clothes and cheeks—
I am happy to wield this power, at least I am a mer-man.
But by sundown their empathy has its limit for me,
I am separated from the other fish to be saved,
for they found some petroleum in me
that cannot go into the new electric cars of tolerance,
and I am in the end a cruel magician.
a pitiless and intelligent Manichean.
a jew to be despised.
~ Arturo Desimone
Arturo Desimone’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Hamilton Stone Review, New Orleans Review, Jewrotica, Small Axe Salon, and the Acentos Review. He was born and raised on the island Aruba. At the age of 23 he emigrated to the Netherlands, and after seven years began to lead a nomadic life-style that brought him to live in such places as post-revolutionary Tunisia. He is currently based between Buenos Aires and the Netherlands.