self-preservation

all these spots
inflate, spill over.

like the time I followed
city signs, hung from
tree stumps that Mel
gave a good talking to
not caring if she made
someone happier than
they ever were, as this
is what the secretive
say to anyone listening.

anyone out in the cold.

duck soup stains the
bottoms of frantic feet
and keeps them planted
into the ground, rocks
losing resolve etched
onto the surface, and
only the flat, gray face
that leaves me as I go
back to some dim room
where I can’t walk at all
thanks to books and a
letter dragged out for
pages better spent on
shielding the tops of
still heads, never turned
and without reflection
that windshields offer
on days when you’d like
the simplest affirmation.

no one ever tells you
about all their mistakes.

Cat No. 104 of the 500 Cats Project

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