King rat

They tied our tails together,
watched us scuttle blind,
hungry, dirty, mewling.
You can’t imagine what it was like
to be born in that place,
in that way.
When one of us died,
we dragged the corpse with us
because we could not let it go.

You toss a busker a dirty moon,
still warm from the touch of your thigh.
It clinks onto other
astral bodies.
God bless you. Not a missed beat;
this is normal. The everyday.
The sound, though, will follow you underground,
trembling for a name.

Sleep invisibly.
Eyes glitter like sharp teeth
in the headlamps of cars.
Aren’t we all animals?
Piss odd shapes against the wall.
This here’s Art. The rest?
Some rich kid pretended
to be homeless, died.

I was mugged in this alley.
Three rough boys, the moon on their knives.
There it came to me:
Streetlamps are not stars,
but from far enough away
you can dream stars in them.
They took my phone,
the wallet with your photograph.
Not one of us spoke.
What could we have said?

What if the stars are watching us, instead?
I think it was beautiful – sometimes
I still feel afraid.