Tuesday, January 15, 2008


The night had come along
And I left the restaurant
Feeling good and full
There wasn’t a coolness
In the air, but there wasn’t
The brutal, strangling heat
That had claimed
The earlier part off the day.
I skipped along,
Thinking things might be
On the up and up for me.
I hoped that the next day
I’d be able to use my credit card
Again, and with a cash advance,
Come across some hard currency
Which I was very low on.
I ducked into the alleyway,
Sliding between the vendor stalls,
And then pushed open the
Dirty, worn gate of my hotel,
Where I had a 6 x 8 foot cell
That was like a little breadbox.
Right inside the gait
In the dark, cement entryway
There was a giant rat,
Lying on its side,
Shaking out the last bits
of a fatal seizure.
I stared at it a moment,
As it convulsed on the ground,
And I said, “ah, you poor bastard.”
Just then the woman who ran
The hotel came out and saw me
Staring at the rat.
She smiled and spouted out
A few strange words,
cackled harshly and walked away
shaking her head.
I was about to walk away myself,
When I felt compelled
to say something over the rat,
A sort of benediction.
So I edged up to it, looked down
Into its empty, dying, rodent eyes,
“Well, little man,
There’s life, and then there’s death.
And right now, you’re doing
The death thing. But who knows
What’ll happen next. Maybe you’ll
Just get tossed in the trash,
And your body will rot,
And that’ll be it.
Or maybe you’ve got some sort of soul
Deep inside that furry head of yours,
That’ll move on to something else.
Best of luck, either way.”
I stood over the little bastard
For another minute and then climbed
The stairs to my room.

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