for long millennia we primates

tussled with the sphinx of fire

until one day, as james stephen hints

in ‘camp noise,’ cavemen shifted

group cerebral enterprise to verse.


so here we sit, dear cousin chimp.

at least, we’re warm, and stock

is seething, savory, on the stove.

but that’s scant comfort, given how

we’re tormenting each other now.


what the fuck is he trying to say?

does he suppose I have all day?

so sorry! rubbing two dry sticks

against each other was a bore—

I hate to think that this is worse.


just lend me one last line of ear,

then scald your tongue on broth.

Tom Riordan lives in New Jersey. He’s a retired restaurant worker and teacher, and dreams about becoming pope for his next career.

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