Furnace hum, window wind, the house creaking under its own weight: this is rat’s dreamtime. But tonight the heft of an enormous foot tipped with ivory toes folds him in half, a circular tonnage that nearly breaks his back. It’s Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings, conscripting deity whose immortality chauffeur rat has become, a ratridden accessory to the divine. And now the ratmobile parade, a slowpawed advance of providence during which carriage fringe obscures rat’s view of the curbside world. Only moments (or is it years?) in, rat wonders what dream must be undreamt for the lifting of this obstacle to begin. How much more fit to the task the back of a ready beast. Rat strains to catch his rider’s eye, wishes they’d pound the drum. Let rat be done, let the ox come.
Jeff P. Jones’s honors include a Pushcart Prize, and the Lamar York, A. David Schwartz, and Wabash prizes. His chapbook, Stratus Opacus, was released by Main Street Rag Publishing. He teaches writing at the University of Idaho.