Can­ni­bal Rats

The Walrus - - CONTENTS - by Richard Greene

Blue steel rusted by the sea, it was worth only its sal­vage, years of South and North Poles eat­ing at her, while the rats who had run aboard on moor­ing ropes were eat­ing son and daugh­ter bred in­side her belly— gen­er­a­tions of need in the gal­ley and the state­rooms. No one wanted to own her dere­lic­tion in this changed town, so she sat there, the Lyubov Orlova.

Cash from Hiber­nia and Terra Nova can­celled what we once knew about ship­wrecks, when green wa­ter ran on the slanted decks of wood ships broached to and on their beam ends re­mem­bered in folk songs where noth­ing mends.

Revenant my­self, I may not cavil about how art and mem­ory un­ravel, fol­lowed my chances on the main­land, got ten­ure, found the tax­pay­ers’ open hand, and am now a Jonah where I was born, con­fused by both the fog and the foghorn; re­turn­ing to my pe­cu­liar Nin­eveh,

I have no mes­sage: I’ve just been away.

A tug­boat dragged that ghost ship out to sea, lost it when a rope broke or they let it free just out­side this coun­try’s ju­ris­dic­tion.

The Ir­ish pa­pers loved the ro­dent fic­tion and sup­posed it land­ing soon in Gal­way, full of can­ni­bal rats look­ing for new prey. It joined all that his­tory of drowned fleets, with­out song or poem but a mil­lion tweets.

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