Death in Camp Charchabouk, Beirut
On the wet sidewalk, inside a television
cardboard box, he cuddled with his dying rat.
The rain soaked the flapping lid; the roof sagged.
He removed his only shoe, a shrunken left,
and forced the limp rodent inside it. The tail
managed to pass through an eyelet of his wrinkled
wingtip and stayed rigid like a crusty shoestring.
The leather, caked with mud, held death compressed;
the murmur of the heartbeat isolated against the insole.
He placed the makeshift coffin inside his jacket,
found a dry spot near his chest, and hoped
raindrops would muffle the fading scratches.