Poem: On Being a Bolivian Monkey

Rain that slickens the sturdy palm, 

fruits that aren’t yet ripe, 

Harpy eagles intent on digging talons and razor beak into 

simian livers —

these are the concerns of a brown capucin, dancing in the canopy, high above the mud of Pachamama, who bequeathed the trees and 

everything else 

to those who dare to climb 

skyward. 

Also, parenthetically, if the rumor is true, there are other animals that would pierce your flesh 

with painted arrows, coated with venom worse than Bushmaster’s.

They walk on two legs and make funny noises and create fragrant smoke.

They like to look. 

And the ancient legend passed from mothers to sons when the moon is full and the birds are quiet describes a chilling tale of friends and sisters and lovers 

Disappearing 

into bags. 

Taken away to a land of low trees and invisible walls, 

where no one eats your father, but they kill you all the same, slowly, 

with hungry eyes.

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