Collision 5: January 2018

Photo by BBKurt / CC BY

Rat King

Daniel Peña

The new start is silver heart quasar
Stars in her veins like stars in mine
Water to earth to skin, mammalian
Hunger for sugar, Oxygen
A wheelhouse to turn in

I call her cholera but she calls herself
The black plague, blue plague, typhoid Mary.
Rat King, greasy streak turned red pavement
A rash turned tumor turned human ear
A cure for burn victims, a cure for pestilence, contagion, cancer, cartilage
Things not mutually exclusive.

She grows a flesh heart on her back
Which she carries with pride
Unkillable though It would be so easy, you think.
A small puncture might do it.
Or a shot of cortisol
A child’s fascination with death.

Imagine if all of them were that way
With human organs growing from their backs
A million eyeballs, say, with a million opinions
A million secret clucks of the tongue
That girl is not living her life right.
He uses Windows 10?

Or a million noses, rather. Pick one, any one
Or a perfect head of hair.
Or a softer personality, less edgy
More into college football or cars.
Or the right kind of pornography.

Their bodies our bodies
One concrete flesh
But their age not our age
Not our wheelhouse that moves slower, gentler
But steady within that same thirst
For heavy metals, cheap homes, fast-casual dining, HGTV
For being insatiably unkillable if only by numbers.