January 2008 / Volume Eight / Issue One
John A. Grochalski
spitting on rats

two puerto rican girls
are standing on the platform
in the subway tombs.
they are leaning over and spitting
at two rats,
searching for food along the tracks.
they are enjoying themselves.,
building huge hockers deep
in their throats
and letting them fly.
they are trying to hit the big, black rat
because he is the ugly one
they say.
other people on the platform,
students, business people,
mexican workers, and madmen,
all the same kind of people,
they begin to take notice of the girls
and the rats.
some are laughing.
some are cheering the girls on.
but no matter how the crowd reacts,
the two girls canít seem to connect
with either rat,
not the big, ugly black one,
nor the cute, smaller gray one.
the girls are unskilled in causing humiliation
but they will learn,
so they and everyone else have to settle
for the black rat
eating one of the girlís puddle of spit.
it is enough to appease the masses,
and to prove our salt on the face of the earth.
then the r train comes
and the rats hurry off in fear.
everyone gets on the train
the students, the business people,
the mexican workers, the madmen,
and the two champion spit girls.
and everyone moves on to something else
of vital importance
in the spectrum of human existence.