A polite talk about alien races should go like this:
Martians can beat us at every ball game,
As well as at chess, poker and go,
Saturnians have the best ice cream in the Solar System,
Selenites are just an illusion,
Blah blah blah. But a xenophobe,
No doubt, would tell you that
Martian balls are made of some stinking fluff
And their brains look like purple jelly,
Saturnians get their milk out of liquid minerals,
And Selenites are the meanest bastards outside our atmosphere.
In truth, however, they all just grow mushrooms in their stomachs,
Raise fish in their blood vessels,
Listen to Radio Wonderbug now and then
And tamper with the military and the clergy for relaxation.
She used to hitchhike on hydrofoils down the canals, teeming
with the bones of those who built them, beautiful bones
of Venusians, Martians and other incredible species,
the enemies of the human race, as they called them, down the canals,
teeming with junk and rubbish and wooden masks, which you could
pick up and sell for the price of your precious sneezes.
She used to heal June beetles with her precious breath,
she used to own the universe and a ramshackle mansion in Prague to boot,
a grave in Andorra, a boa constrictor in Calgary,
a butterfly in Arkhangelsk, all the HIV in Tikal,
a watermelon in Paris which was bigger than the Eiffel Tower,
and a lousy dog on the outskirts of Harappa, which couldn’t
wake her up while she was sleeping replete with shining shards of hammers
and sickles and silent black-and-white dreams on a cast-iron couch.
She used to, but never wanted it to last forever.