Do forgive me strange little man
If I’d rather remove your hands
Than risk a trip to the clinic
For laying with one so unhygienic
Who must slumber with hounds at night
To have contracted such a parasite.

Tis not me who should be bested.
But surely tis you who should be tested.
I fear what the flea may have ingested.

Enough, speak no more of marriage
As if ‘twere white horse and golden carriage.
Do not besmirch the church, dear sir,
But do medicate your bright red blister.
The words you speak are blasphemy;
A connubial coupling will not be.

So honor my gentle behest,
Though it may cause you some painful distress,
Please take your wandering eyes off my breasts.

As for the flea you no more see,
It was never innocent trinity.
Nor was it guilty in the main,
For instincts it was unable to tame.
Perhaps you should heed the shepherd
Who waxes with a passion unfettered.

Offer love at its pinnacle.
Confess true.  Be not so equivocal
Nor, for the heart’s sake, metaphysical.


Paul Brown is currently a full-time English Instructor at the University of South Carolina.  He was most recently published in The New Guard Literary Review and Milkfist.  

Featured Image: The Flea-Catcher (Boy with his Dog) – Gerard Terborch

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