How to Survive

Mouse trap with the pease of yellow cheese on the wooden floor

You cower in a corner of the room—
Eternal refuge of the gray and small.
If you stay hidden, you can stave off doom
By edging past the bottom of the wall.
You move in darkness, and your mind is numb
From hearing others perish snap by snap.
This is what life and pleasure have become:
A blob of peanut butter in a trap.
If you eat only crumbs, and make no noise,
And seek no company, and shun all light;
If you are wise enough to know that joys
Are not for you, and neither is a fight–
You might escape all those who find you vile
And live another unimportant while.


Miles David Moore’s fourth book of poems, Man on Terrace with Wine, was published in 2020 by Kelsay Books. From 1994 to 2017, he organized and hosted the IOTA poetry reading series in Arlington, Virginia.