who is perfect?
no one.

what you see as tessellations are early morning utterances, jammed together in the way a college freshman hurriedly tries to synthesize. the deadline inches closer, minutes hooking themselves onto cheap fabric that fails to keep the restless warm. she thought it was just the next best thing, hanging with grace in the clearance aisle.

the clouds outside invite you to play, but you reach for your cheeks, look in the mirror, and murmur over your ruddy complexion. who will point in the other direction as you face your toes on the escalator? would they gasp, or even laugh in an instance of slight dismemberment?

“lightning crashes. an old mother dies.” no, not in a photoshoot out in some field. not right after she counted the bloodspots atop her thighs from breaking up a fight over which shade of red is pink. Correlation takes a shower. Causation brushes its crooked teeth. They’ve often lived within feet of each other. Roommates, not lovers.

once, your sister screamed at the sight of a full tub. she also got caught in an argument as a nurse gently told her that lukewarm baths that time of the month won’t dissolve her womanhood. for a while, she listened to only herself, submerging her feet in what felt best.

what is comfort?
your own pillow.

Cats No. 100 and 101 of the 500 Cats Project

recipe cards at rest

her shrunken pantyhose
now your tightrope.

she, the one gone crazy.

gifts are kindest
when given
without thoughts
wrung over, sink
of doubting,
choking hearts.

watch your breathing.

privileged are they,
and lucky us.

for once, take
your magnets
and arrange them
slowly, without
planning sleep.

hot water cleanses fear.

the turkey still hisses
louder than a wish.

Cat No. 99 of the 500 Cats Project

a little quicker, please.

paper is not truly paper
the faster today goes by.

eyes blink like crickets
that spent their years
navigating, interpreting
dances around fires
that won’t go out, ever.

a pencil beautifies
like $20 eyeliner
and four rows of ice
thrown on the street
as she slowly walks.

routine is a construct
chewed on by old flies.

Cat No. 98 of the 500 Cats Project

this is what it tastes like.

I’ve figured out why my phone
charger has given up. On me, or
maybe nothing at all. The air
outside, it’s stalling, like leaves in a
cheap fountain. Look at the clay,
and take notes on how you could
do a better job before ever taking
a class.

Lines of people unroll their plans.
Factories, labs, and donut shops.
With or without a decade of books,
everyone has to ask before they
build a house. Or a fortified box for
pigeonholed dreams. Something
like that.

Stop playing dead in the bicyclists’
lane. They’ve told me before, and I
obeyed for a little more than a
week. I’m afraid I may have ruined
something fun for all, if all includes
you and your roommate who refuses
to return before six.

I’ve figured out why I’m able to hear
the crickets better. I also know that
all my walks finish themselves in a
hurry. Pointing out every person
whose blazer and pants don’t
match must seem like amaretto
creamer. It tastes a great deal like
Robitussin when it’s all you care
to drink.

Cat No. 97 of the 500 Cats Project

no one tries to seduce me

I am trying to be judicious.

collect the snow water, when in fact
you’ve never seen snow before, and
the most of it you’ll ever see evades
an arrest by the white unveiled in the
thickest strings of water, necklaces
coping with faulty clasps like terribly
starving person (s) swallow bad milk.

Losing myself to dry.

she wonders why she gets so sick
after five straight mornings, drunk
and still thirsty for the orange juice
not born of pure fruit, leaving spot
after spot, freckles on the grayest
stretches of a street she’s not sure
was the one on which she got lost.

Can’t explain what they do.

he told her that getting close to people
just wasn’t something he did, or does
while birthday cards and lollipop sticks
said otherwise within another cubicle
unfamiliar to aforementioned girl, one
wanting nothing more than the somber
but honest excuse, sterilized by vodka.

I am trying to slip through cracks.

Cat No. 96 of the 500 Cats Project

not our spring

I’ve never been one
to drink alone, or
point to green glass
bottles, assembled
so deliberately, not
at all resembling my
impromptu visits, the
clock holding onto
grooves in an old wall
mosquitoes spoke of,
but they only met up
to complain, not taste,
nor anticipate warmth
from sharp footprints
left on shivering arms
in smarmy fog, giggling
at groups of children
who stare at the sky
in confusion, waiting
for the day when buses
hum promises, heat
surrounding their ankles.

Cat No. 95 of the 500 Cats Project