35 A Rat (To Vl.) 1 You are proud you are born in the year of the Rat. You say you are a rat. A rodent. You never walk your eyes unbuttoned. You never walk in the sun Squeezing the dark out of your eyes. In fact, you never walk in the open. You are never out Rolling your eyes in front of you like a baby carriage Or riding them fast like your bike. You hide. You hide down, and farther down in the basement, beneath, In the sewer, below, in the dark, lower, lower, beyond, Marginal, Your eyes two holes tiny and round through the endless tin around you -- The dark squeezes in and out, out and in. You run from the deafening rattle of your own teeth against The metal, your eyes two infinite gaps Between tight wires, pipes and intestines -- On the bottom. Call it a rat, But you are a hairy grey of the grenade Rustling with a lighting-like rush through the bare black At random, and known Only anonymously. They say: 'An opportunistic survivor', You say: 'Trickster'. 2 You never come in invited. You never enter through doors. You sneak in. You sneak into cardboard houses in the night, When lights and guards are off, Through the holes you gnawed in secret in the walls -- Inch after inch, Bite after bite -- Through the holes covered with your saliva, To feed on what is forbidden to you, Chew what is hidden from you, Swallow what, to you, is denied. You slink in Notwithstanding the locks, traps, rules, norms, etiquette, Make your home where you are unwanted, Take from your host in sly and sneer at him in your hide, Aroused by the stink of his fear, Slinking through the ear holes into his mind, Feasting on his nightmares -- Your claws and fangs tearing into shreds His face in one blast of the grenade Reaching its shooting mark. 3 He sleeps, Tossing on the frying pan of his nightmare, Faceless, Incapable even of moaning, While, in an explosion of hunger, thirst and lust, You ravage his store of goods, Leaving behind the half-eaten dainties of his dreams marked With the traces of your bites, The scraps of promises, The crumbs of hopes mixed with your shit, His life turned litter. Leaving behind the chaos of Quick patting of your paws, In the empty place furnished only with echo, Illusive but menacing bustle, Rustle in the ears without the face, Rustle on all sides, Barely heard rush, The hustle of a rustle. Closer, closer. A rustle brushing against the skin. Suddenly -- The gust. The gasp of the entire house in the gushing hush. The gale Of the convulsion in the walls. The spasm of doors inside the doorframes. The ceiling unconscious On the floor. Windows choked with the flooding boil of red. Scorched nerves of wires. The shell Still melting in the, cold from horror, freezing chest. And frozen. 4 They say Rats are the paltry hunters. Nonetheless, rats are the most relentless predators, Because when hungry, and can't find anything else to eat In the ashes, They tear apart their own offspring, And chew the crying eyes of their own little ones.


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