A pumpkin colored mouse, festive like a Christmas sugar cookie,
measures pleasure. An obese rat lacking leptin eats and eats and never
feels full. Greasy furred mice on a diet of fat look like teenagers binging
on potato chips. The scientist says rats are calm, easy to inject while
mice are nervous and high strung. All this learned while waiting
for the F train. I look up from my magazine and see an electrocuted
rat on the third rail or a grey ratty winter hat abandoned on this cold
first spring day. There is a girl with a ratty dog standing on the platform.
They wear matching girly pink sweaters with BITCH stitched
in rhinestones. The dog yaps at the little boys pawing her. This
must feel like doggie rape and I’m afraid rat dog will escape. I think
the girl is on drugs. She is nodding off and her hand is slipping from
the leash. No one else seems to be bothered by this or the thing
on the third rail. I eat and never feel full. My hair is greasy
and I am twitchy enough to rescue rats jumping off the tracks.
Vicki Iorio is a Long Island poet who likes to read her poetry at tattoo parlors and venues on the Lower East Side of New York City.