A mouse slipped into our walls.
Like most mice, it was nothing
but teeth and anus, with a tail that lashed around
like a holy roller’s tongue.

All night, it scratched in manic Morse
its latest food review as it masticated
king, jack, cripple studs,
before moving on to wiring and wifi—
it gorged itself on grid, chomped
through signals that stuttered like ash
as our avatars dissolved in its gullet.

Its fidgety mouth became all-consuming,
the massive night of Central Plains
beyond Kansas City’s final glitter,
the doom John envisioned when he reclined
on coastal rocks at Patmos, mistaking mouse chatters and squeaks
for Gabriel’s trumpet.

It devoured our house, left us stranded
on a ragged patch of tufted rug
in what used to be the living room.
Neighbors watched as we grew distant.
They waved; we waved.
The mouse guzzled our tears as soon as we shed them.

We called on the Pied Piper to save us—
a sort of last second Hail Mary.
The mouse wasn’t impressed—
it gnawed the smirk from the stranger’s lips,
ate the mouse out of his pupils.

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