OKAY THE RATS ARE BACK

by ben clark and danna mckenna

 

 

 

the walls humming with footsteps.

Sleep a nap’s length for the night.  

I  always  forget  how  it  feels at this hour,

remember that someone said going

without dreams is like going without

water. Two sprays on the tongue

will release me from shock, but I don’t

notice a thing. I smell the chocolate

factory again, and a dog bites a hole in

my jeans. Their doorman is suspicious

of   me   today,   and   in   the   elevator,

I hear a neighbor say, I can hear him

screaming all afternoon. I start adding

honey to  my  coffee,  mask  my  food

in salt, eat  with  fervor,  and  pierce 

the  inside  of  my   cheek,   surprised 

to  find  the  plate  empty  so   soon. 

To  remember   to   mail   the   letters, 

I whisper mailbox, mailbox, mailbox,

and tap the address out on my thigh.

I worry about my brother showing up

here too, and  can’t  forget  the  winter

I carried a plant home, and it didn’t live

a day.

Dana McKenna and Ben Clark currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and have collaborated on over fifty poems together.