The Hippos of Venezuela
Poor old,Pablo Escobar,
sad, misunderstood fellow.
Once the Florida beach has been emptied
of all that Columbian marching powder,
dispersed like a burst of apiary across the flatlands
of an insatiable market, there is still the problem
of what to do about the cash.
The submarine, commandeered from the navy,
is too small. They have to leave pallets of cold hard
greenbacks on the beach like bales of hay after harvest
or turtles returning to the sea.
You'd think that when there is more money
than will fit in a submarine then money might
lose something of its meaning. Not on your life.
What to spend it on? That is the question.
Of course, if you're Pablo Escobar, you might
decide to fix the nation's hospital system or instead,
warned off politics, you might buy your own private zoo,
fill it with exotic creatures from all over the known
world. You might even call it philantrophy, (but not
hubris). However, when you tread on too many toes
and get yourself shot, for one - who cares?
and for two - who's going to look after the poor animals?
Not the cartel henchmen sick of stirring corpses
into vats of acid, worthy work though that might be.
Never really appreciated the aquatic artiodactyl ungulate
removed from its natural African habitat. Nor the blue-tongued
camelopard wilting in its own self-imposed silence,
nor the crying hyena, the lazy lemonade liger.
The bars inevitably rust, the palm trees fall over,
the cheap concrete decays.
Hunger drives the captive animals to do what captives do
and break out, so now the hippopotami, rampaging
through the compound, muddy after the wet,
have long escaped not only into the Meta and Vichada,
but also the Venturai, the Orinoco, the Avauca rivers.
Another ecological disaster.
Like submarines the hippopotami don't stop
for national borders; it's their perfect environment,
all the wide wandering Amazon before them.
Poor old Pablo Escobar, coked off his scone
at the centre of the universe, invincible
behind those bullet-proof bales of cash -
when you try to play God in a Godless world,
God shoots back.