Jeremiah Moss at n+1:
ON MY DOORMAT, a large, greasy-golden rat is curled as if sleeping, tucked into the corner where my apartment door meets the wall of the hallway. Her dark, shining eyes are open. I can’t tell if she’s dead or dying, alive enough to dart into my apartment, so I close the door quick. I can’t get out of my apartment without stepping over the rat and I have no intention of doing that. She gives me the shivers. In twenty-five years, I have never seen a rat inside the building and this weird intrusion concerns me as an indication of entropic breakdown in the system gone too far. When the exterminator comes for his monthly visit, he will tell me that, since the pandemic began, the rats of New York have been leaving the subterranean zone to venture upwards into buildings, into hallways and apartments, searching for food. This, he will say, is unusual behavior for a rat.