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CLOSE / Parnassiad


Peace and Other Stories


Fragments of a Formerly Active Sex Life



Evolution
by Sean Garcia  /  poetry  /  5 Jul 2007

In ancient forests monkeys sat around

On treetop, growing fat above the ground

On ripe bananas.  They would toss the peels

And make a road, before there was the wheel.

One day there was no fruit.  'Twas starve, or try

To find a source of food before they died.

So the first monkey hopped down to his feet,

Uncertain of his fate.  What did he meet,

Taking mankind's first steps, but a banana

Peel, dropped before!  And on this rotted manna

He slipped, ass over clumsy, hairy foot,

As hillside trees will topple o'er their root

After the soil that holds and nourishes

Erodes.  Years hence, another monkey's pen

Would tell how all the others laughed from safety,

And how the fallen ape did rise up stately

To teach himself, in stumbles, fits, and starts

The seeming natural, not forgotten art

Of walking.  Soon the fad became a craze;

And, madness! all the monkeys passed their days

Bipedal.  Free to wander round and pluck

From different trees strange fruit, they pressed their luck.

Meandering this brave new world was one

Who found the shifting landscapes themselves fun:

Beyond the hunger and the feeding, there

Were gorges and ravines, and shadows where

The country disappeared beneath the thickness

Of wild eaves overgrown.  And like a sickness,

The sight behind his eyes did burn and howl,

As acid in the belly makes it growl.

To feed his fever, Vincent took the fruit,

And ground it up.

                              The paint came from the juice.

An appetite invisible he fed

By fashioning what starved inside his head,

That region deathly black that did him pull,

A tree with branches made of bone.  His skull

Is all remains, now, brittle as the old

Banana leaves, dried up.  Already, mold

Forms in the sockets where his eyes were, green

As earth before the monkeys must have been.

 

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