Athens, The AgoraNear the ruins a few dogs
and sickly cats hang around the tavernas.
The tourists no longer wear togas
but stroll like conquerors.
After all, the empire fares well.
X number of bombs = Y number of days
to solve the equation of Balkan wars.
The global economy has green hair,
silicone breasts, and ATM machines.
Internet stocks soar like Chinese rockets.
Still, the Greek Zapatistas scribble
"we demand our own dreams"
on the remnants of walls shadowed
by almond, myrtle, and pomegranate.
Tourists heavy with Aegean food survey
the Parthenon, old Hadrian's arch. They walk
past Socrates and his friends but notice nothing.
No one pays attention to the feral dogs,
cold-eyed and hungry in the Agora.
They pant. Their ribs show. They wait.
Issue #14, March, 2000 :
Santa Fe Poetry Broadside.