It was the heyday of vermin:
weasel for Police Chief, mouse for Mayor.
Pestilence reigned, and frenzy.
Then came the administration of cats,
followed by the rule of dogs.
By the time of monkeys, an afternoon dolor
gripped the city. Its denizens
lay about, picking lice off their genitals.
This was remedied by the advent
of humans. Now streets were cleaned,
feces piled up and dumped
beyond the city; all hair swept clean
from neglected streets.
It was the dawning of a new age!
Then came the reign of the lowly virus.
Kurt Brown’s first full-length collection of poems, Return of the Prodigals, was published by Four Way Books in 1999. He lives with his wife, the poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (2000)