A Rat Hauling a Moon Pie into the Shadows of 125th Street

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The New York Times Magazine, January 7, 2018

has its tail notched from cannibalism or close escapes,
an ear divoted by mercy of some other kind. In Harlem,

the solo-lugging of such a ginormous hunk of Moon Pie
is causing the shadow-animal to draw attention to itself,

though the eyes flash Fuck you to passersby, the traffic.
The cold is extreme for even winter in New York City;

little rat-breath-clouds form and dissipate by the stairs.
There is music from the open stage door at the Apollo,

music that sounds like the heart of the world is nicked.
Tonight, the singer is telling us she wants to be loved.

If the rat is a fan, it’s because she sees New York City
as neither hell nor heaven but a place the Lucky grab

what they can of what’s most enticing, even a Moon
Pie trailing marshmallow and chocolate like a flesh.

 

A RAT HAULING A MOON PIE INTO THE SHADOWS OF 125TH STREET by Roy Bentley

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Roy Bentley, a finalist for the Miller Williams prize for Walking with Eve in the Loved City (University of Arkansas, 2018), is the author of eight books; most recently, American Loneliness (Lost Horse, 2019). He has published poems in Atticus Review, Crazyhorse, december, The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle among others.

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