First World Compassion

Sympathy is not dead!
Ageing starlets perform fashion compassion
for the starving.
Ethiopia.
Somalia.
Solongia.
Sowhatia!
We've got third-world gruntwork
to feed
our first-world appetites.
Reality TV breastfeeds
the bacillus of our laughter.
In the land of lotus-eaters
art is sleaze,
love a tease,
psychoanalysis a disease
(pretending to be a cure).
Homeless waifs
are winnowed like corn
on the threshing floor of poverty.
Government satraps
and the humblest delinquent
give twenty-dollar handjobs
outside the pub.
The world become:
a brothel for our emotions.
Nothing new
since Adam was a pup,
in the kingdom
of affluence
and apathy.

Kim Downs