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1 poem

by Peach Kander

Peach Kander is a queer poet and current MFA candidate in Poetry at NYU living. Current projects include an (auto)biography set in a dystopian North Pole and a translation of Georges Hugnet's 'Childhoods.' Lately, they’ve been going to karaoke to sing classic pop songs in the style of Bob Dylan. Poems are forthcoming in Fugue and dirt child, vol. 1, and other creative property can be found in the Sephora archives.

This poem was shortlisted for the 2019 Peach Gold in Poetry with guest judge Dorothea Lasky.

love is / a rat

You could be on the toilet scrolling through

the apps like a catalogue, the humans

staged in the photos as stand ins for

brand, disposition. After sneaking its

way through the plumbing like it’s the loop de

loop on top of your childhood hamster’s

cage it pops out, through your detritus

escaping from the porcelain vessel.

You’re horrified, though not entirely

surprised, as this is a phenomenon

you’ve read about, too much even perhaps

such is your lack of shock. Think of other

peoples’ stories, like your friend who was

on the subway platform glancing sideways


A rat, its obsidian beads, met her

gaze and charged. They say there are ones in parks

as big as possums, toddlers. An off smell

around the station, for in this quest to

eradicate or control the rat, they’re

willing to take us all out. Like if we live

at all we can live without them. I’ve had rats

in my walls, scratching back and forth to each

other when we couldn’t sleep. Boxes poisoned

and baited on almost every corner

every stoop, outside the deli

full of cats, to stop what will be here

even after we all leave, running

a rat along the third rail, unabashed

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