Rat-bitten Anxiety Dreams

I once had two baby rats,

perfect as can be,

I raised them to adulthood,

and they died of cancer.

Now they haunt my fevered dreams.


At first a single rat,

a soft-haired corpse,

lone in a field of gold.

When the dream me,

got close enough to recognize,

it multiplied.

Now there are many rats in my dream.


In reality,

a glass picture of my pets past

brings back memories;

a stroke of the glass

touching soft fur

the sound of the frame against my fingernails

chattering of teeth

the image in my head

images of a thousand dreams


In this dream

there are many rats,

running in a golden desert.

I have neglected them

is my cry.

There are too many to care for,

not enough of myself

to give.


I begin to spill my memories

Future. Present. Past.

hoping the other me(s)

can give the rats

the love and care they need.


The memories are clear

as they spill out of my head

and into the dry, dry sand.

They should evaporate

but dream logic dictates

they create a flash flood.

My mind is awash with suppressed emotion,

the rats all float away

on a log of reason.

I wake up.

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