the one you feed
by sarah endsley
The rat-tail assaulting my entrance at two a.m.
The smile man greeting me, praying silently.
Rat is sarcastic, lethargic, mentioning moth-worn promises
that never awaken to morning warmth.
Smiley carefully reads passages that resonate throughout my hacking chest,
Envelops my hulking frame, cradles me.
Ratty pounds me emphatically while
Smiley watches through thin gold frames, quizzically.
Smile man, cleaner than coffee,
Rat man, muddy as beer.
When I queried, blind,
Quivering in the pale mist of muddled thought,
A third answered,
Matted fur, and blood. Lightning teeth. Wolves at war.
The victor will be
the one you feed.