Prometheus and the Chimpanzee
Rich Murphy

Prometheus and the chimpanzee
teach flute lessons to rats
and children gathering beneath
the lights along Vine Street.

Suddenly, the lilliputians recognize
the day and follow with unlit
torches, having endured the long
evening, where even Zeus picks

the lice from a gorilla’s coat.
The Hominid family, believing
they’re zoo keepers whistling booze
through their livers, parade parlors

with baboons on their backs
and fire in their eyes: They swing
in a dying tree while the kids
rummage cans but spit out cannots.

Little people rehearse, applying
their finger prints to the space
between the stars, but constellate
herds at their funeral processions.

The rodents, repeating nothing
that instructors play, heave their sighs
and place their fingers to give
a grace note to traps and cheese.

Solitude grinds the freak organs
against the grate of flashbulbs,
but a heart’s tin cup beats a chest
to the music of a new Yahoo.