My mother often fretted
and playfully
a girl
with an uncommon humor
who ate crackers
topped with
strawberry cream cheese.

no one wants to marry you.

approaching your twenties
not cooking well
as you haven’t yet found
just what you
could be good at.

you only know
these formal things
that you’ve been told
you can’t do.

like dogs
and their smooth kisses
moonlike smiles
at plates of bacon
that a neighborly enemy
enjoys without
asking permission
because ice cream
before dinner
is what adults sometimes choose.

*Cat No. 33 of the 500 Cats Project