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       A Verse Narrative by Michael E. Mautner


    When she first found him she was terrified.
    She remembered how many people died
    by his hand during the Armageddon;
    but he was old now and was forgetting
    all his old tricks.  He was in the lotus
    position, seated atop an adobe cactus
    when she captured him.  He was terrified;
    there'd been no-one but him on this harbor side
    since he first arrived.  He cried like mad
    when she tied him up, then raved on, badly
    mocking the two alien tongues
    of a song he had heard being sung
    by some siren on the Other Side.

                ZOD'S HOSANNAH

          C'est la vie, c'est la guerre,
          mais, ma vie c'est une guerre,
          la nuit noire c'est mon generale
          et c'est la victoire, victoire, victoire
          du jour et du soir, la victoire,
          aujourd'hui et demain!

          Such life, such war,
          for me they are the same.
          With black night my general's name
          it is victory, victory, victory
          in evening and in day, victory
          tomorrow and today!

    Lyla despised it.  It made no sense
    in a zone where the sun never sets.
    She still hates it.  At least he is silent
    now as he broods, marching at ray-point.
    (No slaps would she take, no submission.)
    His complaints of process due and lacking,
    just like at the trial, go unvoiced, but
    they percolate.  "Smile, Zod," he thinks,
    "Wait until we reach the gate.  'Traitor,'
     they branded me, their stern protector.
     When I return they will reject her,
     whate'er the substance of her commission,
     for I will make their cold hearts burn again!"

    She does not tell him all that's happened
    where they came from, nor her intention
    to travel elsewhere and leave him behind
    to continue his meditations.
    Neither will see his, nor her,
    great expectations fulfilled.

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