[one little rat]

Astrid Lorange


one little rat makes two little steaks,

and a steak is a meal or video still, one

frame in a longer shot. one little rat

carries a secret like a warning. one

little rat makes a steak-pack double,

one meal for two or a two-part

food-drama involving the passage of

meat, milk, hair, salt across borders.

one little rat is a pathogen, soft as a

word, canny as plastic. one rat shakes

on my arm in an anxious embrace; one

rat tugs at my cuff to show the back

entrance or weak point. one little

rat can milk a beet or freight gossip,

one rat divided make two dumb steaks

slapping at each other over a loose,

fuzzy phone line. or – classic rat –

one rat chews its way through the

wires and foam, through the layers

of copper or lead, through the jet oil

and haircream, all the way to another

rat, who, herself two steaks only roughly

covered in a jacket, chews right back

and falls in love.


Astrid Lorange is a poet and teacher from Sydney. She lectures in contemporary writing at UNSW Art & Design. She is one half of the critical art collective Snack Syndicate.

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