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I tell (to death) a memory of a rat - 'big as a fucking pig':
it swaggered between tables as if it owned the premises.
I can't do anything but tell it (if not to death) to wall its room.
It owned that grotty garden that fucking Sunday afternoon,

where it can shelter in the dark.

I have a kitchenette - no toilet, yet - but shower, sofa, bed;
the next rung is self-containment (must aspire). But who said
I'm not accommodating. I fought the mice into the floors
and if they stay there they can stay here; out of sight, out of my thoughts.

They can shelter in the dark.

The edges of my vision should be still - drifting with dreams;
not crawling with cockroaches. Quick, then still. Every beast
should have a fear and dread of man. This - 'big as a fucking mouse' -
still; steadily looking. I leap from sofa to bed; bleat-

no - command - it: shelter in the dark. Let me sleep - like the mice.
It tracks under my bed. That doesn't comfort. I've obliged
its stolid claim on majesty, as I have flattered rats.
But it should know it in its composition, antennae - from its

armoured hind down to lowered, bullish head -
it should know that it is flattened. I'm rattled. But
that's its only card - the rattling. That translates quickly to wrath.
It should have lived inside the walls. Can only fall on the warpath.



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Language of Prairie Dogs Manchester, UK

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