acorns and leaves

Friday, October 28th, 2016

most things in life are accidents: the e-mail notifying me that “Why Are You Here?” was finally selected for inclusion in a lit journal, the call informing me of (much needed) medical resources. both within forty-eight hours of quitting my job. take the bus, wait, make sure I drink enough water so I can once again leave, disappointed that I won’t be harboring the second coming of Christ. make a little fist, squeezing out all the morning’s secrets, that mostly pertain to things and figures I hold a bit of contempt for, and press the heat pad against my skin, opening up the stubborn blood vessel that doesn’t give as much as it should. twelve-hour fasting, (bus) rides through neighborhoods with pretty mailboxes. as I mention these, I remember to see if my Cinderella costume got to my door. the only work-appropriate costume I could find, and the only costume I found versatile enough to work with until I turn thirty-five. here lies a sort of suffix I’ll say when I choose to buy more cardigans. I don’t want to type in an office. aside from the one I’m assigned to the earlier parts of the day, I don’t want to be in an office for a while. I do want to wear my Cinderella apron, and I want to collect handfuls of acorns, baskets of leaves so I can empty this drawer of acrylic paints I feel have been waiting to(o) long. fire engine red won’t up and leave, but it could tip and spill. red, black, silver, white all over my face this coming Monday as I hand out Snickers and well-sealed Zebra Cakes to whom I think are just a solid ten of the hundred in our apartment complex who aren’t too old to celebrate. maybe my cats could serve as greeters, but they think they are dogs, friendly yet frightening, as they waddle to anyone passing by, the tabby cat crying as if I don’t feed her enough (which would be false). I could always be a witch, you know. the one who isn’t quite good, but the one remembered for her two flying monkeys, whiskered.


one day you will
be old enough
to understand and nod
at the sanctity of closed doors.

an accusation and a wild party
that you did not witness
or volunteer yourself to paint.

your eyes—wide
as these coastal steps
that receive your delight
when grandfathers drink black coffee

one on the curb, rough thumb
circling, hardy compass
directing your saturated interest.

one day you will
be old enough
to realize and accept
the minority indifferent to milk and honey.

Cat No. 56 of the 500 Cats Project


I politely asked a woman
– whose house stood sturdy
on the side of a road
that for years transgressed
the norms zip codes imposed –
if I could take a picture.

“My house?”
she blinked, confused.

I pointed to her cat
– whose eyes were like cups
emptied by children
eager for grape juice
and tropical punch in summer –
and I wanted to walk a bit closer.

“Oh, of course. Take him!”
she waved her hands, listless.

Tail like a caterpillar
– still, and wondering
if I was another weirdo
crawling into bed with socks
who ate my Pop-Tarts untoasted –
quivered itself to rest.

“Thank you, but I’ve got two.”
I frowned as the cat crouched rigidly.

Cat No. 55 of the 500 Cats Project