In Sukhumi*, in this earthly paradise, among palm and orange trees, I saw the monkey preserve. Kept behind high walls and electric fences, they were here for scientific reasons: monkeys with mutated behinds, red and fat; monkeys with vicious purple mugs that bite; beggar monkeys making somersaults and stretching hands to the curious crowd for candies... The tourist guide told us that in a couple of months they had eaten a whole jungle behind the walls. That's why they were living in a desert now... In Sukhumi, among palm and orange trees, I saw the monkey preserve. They were punished for some unknown sin.
* Sukhumi is a city in Georgia (the former Soviet republic) on the Black Sea. Many official poets have used the metaphor of Earthly Paradise for Communism.
© Vladimir Levchev