in the winter he takes to his skin
like a rat digging for its life, whose
only thought is how to displace
the most dirt in as short a time as possible.
it itches daddy he says to me
scraping at the tickles in his thighs.
if his little nails were knives
his hips would be fringed with flesh,
and when the rakings done -
his tissues red and inflamed with urge
he scurries off in his underwear
faster than any rat you have ever seen.