Fleas are crueler at breakfast,

stabbing little tongues that miss the heart.

Connoisseurs of vintage lymph,

they slurp pores like lemon-tea,

burying their lost teeth under wrinkles.


Fleas are amazing:

unlike humans,

they don’t banquet at open wounds.


I learned this by asking a beggar,

an erudite versed in the area.  

To find him,

I followed a trail of bleeding footsteps.


If the shoeless soles of his feet

could speak,

they would describe the facial complexion

of this town.


He was standing on the corner he calls home,

like a patch mending the ragged wall.


Ate a lobster yesterday,

but today, he is again a tramp,

and if he threw away all his money

it wouldn’t make him any poorer.


He’s got big hands, a true gift he says,

the envy of other mendicants, even though

he is just an infant who eats boxes full of

oranges in his dreams,

and the list of the things he lacks:

bread by bread, brick by brick,

line by line, stretches into three volumes.


How many coins, I ask, could

A flea infested-child have

if he doesn’t know how to count?

He didn’t answer, kept scratching the flea’s bite

in the place that connects the body

with its shadow,

thinking that the fleas

will not leave any crumbs





Javier Felix  Todos los derechos reservados © Javier Felipe 2014