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Holy Beaver

Holy Beaver

When there’s rain on a plague day
Or plague on a rain day
You really should bring an umbrella, fella
As everything’s closed
And that which may be open you may
Rather not enter — even
With a mask strapped round your face
So don’t go out to Astor Place
Where J.J. Astor skins his castor
That’s beaver to you
Beaver trade’s how he got made
Though most don’t know
That beavers grow for their whole lives
They never reach a terminal size
I don’t know why. Who’s to say?
The DNA?
The Dinah?
In the kitchen — with Longinus? Yes!
Loafing around with his holy cup.
And if that beaver there should sup
From that she’d grow forever
Yup
Or nibble some ambrosia
Just a crumb that fell from Zeus’s beard
How long before
She’d grow whale-sized?
How big would she be by
The time she‘d outgrow the planet itself
And dam the streams of cosmic gas
Build galaxies in all of that
Galactic milk (tautology)

And Goldfish, too, I’ve heard
Will grow so
Maybe magic blood of Christ
Splashed on a carp in a basket that night
On Golgotha
And now it’s immortal
But captured by Peter
Is kept in a tub
And’s sliced apart each week
To sell in the market
On Fulton Street
With Alfred Smith
Still terrorized by Oedipus
Killer of kings
And landlords
And reckless drivers
As the holy beaver grows
The cosmos
Captain Kierkegaard
Among the splattered stars opines:
Listen to the voice of God
Like Abraham, when there’s a command
To slaughter someone
You listen —
Eddie Pus, as he’s now known, nods
Watching the flames
And the plagues spread
And the droplets of rain
Bursting on his head like falling bodies
The masks in the street
In the gutters and grass
And other places
Like so many discarded faces
Like leaves on the trees
Of the aftermath

Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com and on twitter @elliot_sperber

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