The Flea

Now I was stretched out on the floor,
just hanging around with the dog
on a lazy warm breezed afternoon
when I had this conversation
with a most erudite flea.

I felt this buzzing coming from the fur
at the base of the left canine ear,
a low hum kind of thing, almost unnoticeable,
which slowly let words through,
and I stepped into the middle of a sentence
or maybe it was a dream.

This flea was quoting Schopenhauer
and to my astonished look,
eyebrows heavenward, he intoned
in a rasping elderly flea voice,
"Well, we do run through all those books
you have around you, you know,
those skyscrapers that teeter and totter.
And I am the most learned of all the fleas,
the guru to whom my multitudes flock,
their six furry legs atwitter
with anticipation.

I am in the process of writing a sutra
for future generations, those unaware nits
of the moment clutching their follicles,
unaware and undreaming.  I am penning
an opus on, I think, flea ecstasy."

My mind wobbled and my jaw dropped
for the flea continued, "You may close
that cavern you call a mouth,
that sorry excuse for a mandible
that has not the proper apparatus
to suck blood, you miserable eater of solids,
you unclean mountain of a being.
And to think that some of my brethren
at times infest you.  Ugly.

But back to my opus, my flea brilliant song
of leaf lines and tree sap and
leaps ten times my body size
in great ecstatic arcs.   Ah it warms my
blood just to think of it."

I blinked, unsure of my ears or my sanity.
The dog still snoozed.  All around me
looked normal.

"The little problem I have,"
continued the flea, "is a matter of ink.
Have not solved that nor have
the generations before me.
Ants' blood seems good at first
but then it dries and fades.
We've tried milking termites but
it's the wrong consistency.
Now, you give me an idea.
Human blood, aye, that might do."

He eyed me suspiciously with
renewed interest and I leaped to see
if there was anything left
in that shaker of flea powder
in the back of the cabinet.
There was.
I haven't heard from him since.

Zen Oleary
March 12, 2004

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