My Heart is in Bensheim

in Culture by

You are the rat rounded
        with Winterspeck,
                tubby and fat-hipped,
                        and my heart grabs fistfuls
                                of your love handles
                        My heart is the round windows
                of the cast iron cover and I
        am the cover;
I am the sewer plate

My heart and its aortas encircle you
        and no slathering of butter or grease could slick you free
You are the rat
        and I am the sewer plate
                and the Polizei don’t stop us
                        and it takes an eight-man team
                all fireman and rescue
        to release you
from my love

You’d been all fat and surface-bound
        and your round body bounds now
                back into the sewer, unharmed
                        and we keep our slippery memories
                        but we keep them separately
                and the fire brigade keeps a few funny photos—
                        your mouth opening and closing on cold air
                        your teeth like stones waving goodbye

You are gunmetal grey
        all fur and skin and sinew
and my heart is the holes
        in a hole-filled halo
around a rusted sun
        I am flat and sting ray-sized
and made of iron,
        and all of the holes in the cover are my heart
        and all of the holes are empty

I am the clang under the tire
        and you are the ghost of a gasp
and I am the sewer plate.



Martina Litty is an undergraduate student studying Creative Writing at UNC Wilmington. Her work has appeared in High Shelf Press and in Witness: Appalachia to Hatteras, the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets and Student Poets series. Litty was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Torch Literary Arts Magazine, which won first place with special merit with American Scholastic Press Association for its first edition.


Fat rat stuck in manhole rescued by firefighters in Germany
[The Guardian]