our town

by A.K. Blakemore

the dead rat was uninjured.
rigor mortis had set in, freezing the tail to a loop about
the circumference of my forearm.

it had eaten poison. when it rains (which it sometimes does
for days) the snails
come out, in liquid
eye-tiaras and

at night i saw a car with blue
under-lights parked
outside the restaurant. another place sells fruit loaves and
secondhand bridesmaids’ dresses.

i don’t know where to buy khat yet. salvia
i do. ask me about my tattoos.
red-and-white striped

tube top. heart-shaped padlock.
i didn’t notice him putting his hand
there. it was raining.

but hold me
like something that shakes
when it goes unheld. you’ve trained
your body not to take up the space
it ought to take –

and everyone else we’ve ever met
would die if they came to this place.