Peter Austin



The finest kind of coffee (it’s
Been called divine—celestial)
Is made so by a process that’s
Incongruously bestial.

The Indonesian civet cat—
A pointy-snouted brute—
Is partial to the coffee plant,
Especially its fruit;

It eats as much as it can reach
And, when it’s done, a catter
Picks the apotheosized beans
From other fecal matter.

Their rite of rectal passage makes
Them—or so goes the boast—
Less bitter and more chocolaty
Than any other roast,

Sweeter, it’s even been declared,
Than Mother Mary’s nipple,
And who would dare to question that
At fifty bucks a tipple?

[Gift boxes, containing 9 oz. of “luwak”
coffee plus a sample of plastic-wrapped
droppings, can also be purchased, for

Peter Austin is the author of three collections of poems and a short novel in verse. His work has appeared in such places as Iambs & Trochees, The New Formalist, The Raintown Review, The Pennsylvania Review, and Contemporary Sonnet. He lives in Toronto.