. Civilisations Forget the Taste of Their Own Tails To see a friend possessed By the time’s ideological incantations, To see a world soon blessed By mob rule and its dark infatuations; To glimpse a friend’s black eyes Gouge out the moment’s question—friend or foe? To glimpse a world of lies Fall like a cloak upon a world of woe; To feel a friend lean forward And feel contempt for your apostasy, To feel a world float shoreward Onto the beach of ideocracy; To face a friend enraged And bear the gamma rays of conflict well, To face a world engaged In ruin, and still scoop up seeds of hell; To watch a friend remember A friendship’s brief extinction through non-crimes, To watch a world dismember Communities, as readers dissect rhymes; Pains seer and the seen More than life’s mandatory suffering; Yet don’t our shades seem keen To crown and guillotine another king? . . James Villanueva is an upcoming writer from Brisbane, Australia. He spends most of his time working at his craft and trying to crack the secrets of literature, since university was of little help there.