it was a moist room w / a ceiling that sag / d liKe a tarp paunch / d w / rain . i was barefoot / d . my feet sunK into the mushy wood floor . my arms swam ahead as i tip – toed in total darKness to where the once undisturb / d dust stir / d in the frecKled light that poKed thru curious wormholes in the roof .
small barfs of chalKy sunlight snucK thru an octagon window cover / d in cobwebs n pieces of dead bugs . a puff / d , shadowy figure looK / d outside . i grip / d the struggling beam of sunlight stretching towards me n pull / d myself closer to the unKnown shape that watch / d over the musty room .
perch / d on the window ’ s ledge was a brown n dust / d gray , stuff / d bar / d owl . a baby . it watch / d the starry sKy outside , unconcern / d w / me . i crept up on it , slowly n snatch / d it , quicKly . i need / d to looK into it ’ s eyes . when i spun the body , the head remain / d transfix / d on the window . i spun it wildly , liKe a fumbled football , it ’ s necK twisting n winding full of Knots, until the head pop / d off n glop / d across the sunKen floor as the bird ’ s decapitated body spurt / d out strands of doddery confetti .
a small , blurry / d newspaper clipping float / d just beyond the stretch of light n land / d on a large , unseen leather treasure box cloaK / d in a quilt of dust w / an oversized padlocK that glimmer / d in a sneeze of sunlight , swaying .
i crawl / d towards the box . my wet shirt drag / d across the marshy plywood , snagging on sweaty wood splinters . a small , stuff / d rat w / mangy fir , warm eyes n oversized front teeth asK / d if i need / d help . i pet the rat n picK it up n smash it ’ s rodent tusKs on the padlocK . the rat ’ s furry sKull sKid / d across the room n hit the wall liKe thunder , while the body exploded liKe a piñata congest / d w / wet confetti .
the lid creaK / d in pain n cough / d the grunge from it ’ s lungs n out into the small , wet room . it ’ s shy dust settled w / a thud n shooK more filth loose , that settled with a bump n awoKe more sandy mucK to dance into my watery eyes .
the disturbance calm / d . i reach bacK into the box n pull / d out a naKed rat sKeleton , blanKet / d in the chew / d remnants of it ’ s wispy nest .
i drop the carcass ; KerplunK .
i sift / d thru the treasure box , pulling out nothing but shred / d paper . thin accordion / d strips of paper . i stretch them out . one was a piece of my grandparent ’ s will , another was my dad ’ s birth certificate , another was love notes n family photos that looK / d liKe someone hid their face w / scissors n blacK / d out truth w / a felt before the rat found himself stucK , starving to death on top of a pile of paper .
all shred / d n swallow / d by a rat who died w / a belly full of blacK inK n paper / d memories .
i step / d on the rat ’ s bones , crushing it under my bare foot liKe a lit cigarette butt , stomping until the treasure box slams shut , forever , again …