The Rat of Saint-Germain

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
The story of a rat, dodging in and out of 1920's Paris.

Submitted: August 03, 2011

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Submitted: August 03, 2011

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Steam pours out from the grey, uneven cobblestone of the boulevard
A short man with yellowish skin flicks his cigarette on the ground
A plump, rosy cheeked woman brushes against the man
Traveling in the opposite direction, her chins bob up and down
Matching the pace of her footsteps
A sudden impact is felt near her heels
Picking the bottom of her yellow dress
She puts her hands on her fat face and lets out a yelp
A large rat stands stationary a foot away from her
It’s beady eyes stare at the blue veins of her leg
The rat scampers through the street
Disappearing into a broken, filth covered manhole
It’s naked, scaly tail, bigger than it’s body sways against the wind
Perching very slightly out of the opening, and then vanishing again
Oversized in body, it’s coat a deep black, with yellow teeth
Hanging out of it’s mouth, a perfect companion to the dark
And dirt and grime of Paris
It listens to the pounding of footsteps against the street
It watches the frenzied pedestrians hurrying to work
It feels the slight breeze of wind
Tapping its tail to an instinctual rhythm, that only he can decipher
Engaged by the motion of the horse drawn carriages
Studying the strong build of the animals, their irregular mouths
Viewing the look of seriousness of the coach-men
The rat is a one-dimensional vermin in a world of fine layers and details
It watches unflinchingly as time passes, having no sense of time
It is roughly wired only to survive; it feels only the purely physical
The stomping of an agitated pedestrians boot
The damp wet of the sewers and the roughness of unvalued side streets
The rat alertly surveys the fleeting canvas of the Boulevard Saint-Germain
Now setting his mark on a grey, rust covered stand
Smoke seeps out the metal square, and the aroma of baguettes
And fresh crepes flood the air
A baker idles near the stand
Cursing at the flickering of a broken streetlight
The rat dances wildly, darting through the pattern of moving feet
It spots a large piece of a discarded baguette and then flees triumphantly
The rat gorges on his newfound feast
Picking and chewing forcefully, careful not to lose one crumb
He finishes, his fat stomach sticking out grotesquely
Contently, the rat begins to survey the street once again


© Copyright 2020 Neil Stanoff. All rights reserved.

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