when we were somewhat young

aliens come to teach us tricks
less silly than simply playing fetch,
watching the sun hide into wordlessness
like young sangria tossed onto worn carpets.

you and your pencil, glue stick
trying its best to hold together the steps
one follows, solving the most tiresome
riddles, equations, whiteboard confetti.

fly through tonight, keep your head down
and don’t vomit yet because there’s much more
that we haven’t seen and the people around the corner
have an entire book filled, oddities and monsters smirking.

we once wrote stories and scared off those
who timed themselves in the late afternoon
and made sure to climb the stairs at five
while we knew we’d be searched for, astray.

ants form a line, encircling the smoothest rocks
we walked right over, arched nonchalance glowing
in the heat, the unknown and feared biting our ankles
that worked, pushed, and fought against suburban rest.

Cat No. 92 of the 500 Cats Project

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you keep singing that same old song

you argue.

that thing, you’re so good at it.

speaking without commas, howling infrequently but when you’re loud, everyone hears. the district knows, but most people are too tired to get out of bed and look out the window, seeing you emulate broken chalk, reading some minuscule number that denotes just how busy you really are.

or, just how busy you really were.

I’ve seen your eyes, clay cups the size of children’s fists.

you’ve seen my face, thinning while you hide and when you return, I shake like                                      toads scampering for life in the middle of our incomplete, mucky July and I wonder

if you could be A-OK.

closing time.

Cat No. 91 of the 500 Cats Project

he that is preoccupied

I shook my head at pancake syrup
because I knew it’s your tool
when words fall within the cracks
and spaces that even lizards avoid
after offering excuses no one buys.

Dishes are toppling over
themselves in a room dark like
autumn days should become,
murkier still as you dance those
crooked steps disregarding mind.

Your lips move as midnight moves
closer, openings seal like tape
and the locket hanging to disagree
breaks at the hinges, paper photo
ripping without the unfelt touch.

Television blared the day I knocked
and you told me to call back, that
you were busy, in a conference
that did not result in a solid deal
to ease your labored breathing.

Cat No. 90 of the 500 Cats Project