The rat, part 1


Part 38 of the 64-part series called "moon photos"

Its nose smells everything, drinking it in
in huge drafts, like the beer at the bar where
it lives, under the floorboards, next to
the draft lines. It chewed a hole
in the outer wall a while ago, and now it feeds
on dropped french fries, crumbs of burger
patties, beer foam, sawdust, and the occasional
insect. It’s been trying not to chew through
the tubes strung from the kegs to the taps,
it has some understanding that that will lead
to its being found out, probably killed, but
the drink calls to the rat. It sings to it
like sirens sang to Ulysses, like the earth
sings to falling things, inexorably, constantly.
It is the call of the void. It is the song
of death, and the rat knows it. But it knows
that soon, it will heed the call and meet
its doom, whether sticky, percussive, or feline.
There’s some comfort, at least, in that —
there are only so many ways to die, for a rat.