Saturday, July 16, 2022


That huge paper carapace
hung on a wicker frame, riding my neck,
painted with smiles or leers, wrinkled
with a prince's thoughts; only now
do I dare to shrug my narrow shoulders
and dart from under the screen. The paper prince 
remains, brooding on the fate of kingdoms
and weighing out which uncle first to kill;
but I am free to run, with a rat's love,
my tail whipping back and forth for balance:
my spine a fishing rod, each jump a cast,
my claws as light and sharp as needles
finding purchase where the huge
and clumsy paper of my royal fingers
clutched in vain. Soon to be within the wall,
safe in my native dark, free
to seek my kind.

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