if you see something say something

I am joined by the rats. They have relay races over rails, creating music with their teeth against candy wrappers. I watch them. I watch others watch them. We take secret bets as to which rats will make it past this day, this week. Which are the strong ones. The smart ones. One tears open a bag of chips that fell to its death from human’s hands and sharp teeth make a percussion sound as it nibbles and attacks.

When they scurry over our countertops or across rooms in apartments, we scream. Here, we accept them as long as they stay below where the tracks are. We are the voyeurs above. Feeling brave as their presence does not shake us. I give each one a name. Wonder about its family. Is it happy. Does it wonder about me.

A woman with black-and-grey newspaper skin, crumpled and delicate, spits out pieces of candy bar toward the rats. One bite for them one bite for her. Her spits are angry– less about sharing and more about target practice. She spills coffee toward the tracks– a determined splash. And I wonder if she wants to clean them with her caffeine or get them addicted like her. She takes a sip then spills again. As B train approaches at Dekalb station in Brooklyn, she throws the rest of her coffee toward the rats to drown them before the electric shocked subway arrives.

Find yourself in water

“The rocks. They carry the chronology of water. All things simultaneously living and dead in your hands.” —Lidia Yuknavitch

There was that time I ate darkness. Choked on the bones and swallowed the shadows of fascia. There is marrow in these walls and they can be confused for rock or congealed strangles. Carve away the gypsum board, lick out the asbestos with fearless tongue and wait for the numb to arrive in waves. Swim inside the secrets of this wall. Study the ghosts; ask them where their names derive from. Lose skin from loose nails, scraping away the cells of your childhood. Do not mourn for wounds; they are meant to be a vessel for newness to occur. Find yourself in water. Question its smell but not its origin. This is the perfume of rot. Embrace the pain of a comfortable drown. Pretend it is possible to melt away the parts least preferred. There is no gender in these walls. Body is blank, blurred and deconstructed; so what do you want to be now? Lose yourself in beams. Find meaning in the knotted wood. Dark patches like freckles or moles or reminders that sun has wronged you. There is no weather inside these walls, nor is there an Internet connection, so who will you tell about this. And if you keep it concealed, does this journey still exist?