. Be Careful What You Ask For “Genie, please make me a banana split.” Poof! “You are a banana split! Just feel yourself sliced down the middle. Doesn’t it feel cool, dear Tony? I’ve thrown out the peel, and now that slit is widened by three scoops of rich vanilla ice cream. I’ll add nuts, whip cream, chocolate sauce, the cherry ... Woops! Forgot the spoon—need that to get those guts ... well, former guts of yours. What’s that you say? Tony, come on—now’s no time to get cute: don’t say you didn’t mean it quite that way. Besides, shouldn’t banana splits be mute? All right, I’ll change you back; but what a waste— I seriously like the way you taste!” . . What Politics Is Coming To A traveler stayed with us, and we spoke long of strange activity in London, Moscow, Hong Kong, Rome, and cities that we might call home— Seattle, Portland, Ottawa, New York, and others, where the law may be suspended at the will of some mere whim, or where a bill may pass that clearly turns against a citizen with no defense. Shame on all these who legislate so wickedly, or abrogate the public trust by backing schemes they sell as feasible sweet dreams intended, rather, to enslave. Shame most of all on those who’d waive their freedom through rash, ill–cast votes— so led astray, these foolish goats. . . Julian D. Woodruff, who contributes poetry frequently to the Society of Classical Poets, writes poetry and short fiction for children and adults. He recently finished 2020-2021, a poetry collection. A selection of his work can be read at Parody Poetry, Lighten Up Online, Carmina Magazine, and Reedsy.