listeria

he crossed a boundary, sturdy chest pressed
by a thin, pale finger (slightly bent).

plastic ring, the sparkling pink
invites a smirk to dance:
trivial moments shall upset
this one dry face.

composing some song, uneven tempo
that awkwardly mocks mixed signals
perceived weeks before autumn.

she lost her page, calendar torn
and no one provides the correct date.

three weeks late and stalled
at another rusted bus stop.

deadline on the yellow slip,
facetious detention with which
he threatens her between four
brittle walls, barely there.

honest warnings, clipped
and tucked for years, into
striped inner pockets of
a favorite purse with color
at its fullest, unchanged.

this new emptiness grabs her
by the chin, shaking her head
as boys of the past grab busted
pens, scrawling their numbers.

to discount and disconnect
all over again.

Cats No. 112, 113, 114, and 115 of the 500 Cats Project

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oh, my Friday

she got out her graham crackers,
only to throw them in Greek yogurt.

marshmallows and Hershey chips sat in a blue bowl.

really, it was kind of sad.

she got out a spoon that we knew
would break just as she got to the bottom
of all the lines yet to be entered so anyone
who needed to know got word just like that.

she learned what was taught.

down, like pat.

she got out some broken ice cubes,
awful aim tipping over a plastic pink cup.

Cat No. 111 of the 500 Cats Project

not at all rushed

I’ve got a feeling
you’ve been told
the same things.

fawned over, so
incomparable.

how many dimes
add up to fill our
modest fridges?

it’s fine to ask
in hunger.

but waiting on
your answer has
quieted the rain.

your truth could
sting the eyes.

all I have that
no one’s seen
in spry delight.

I stand along fine
old curbsides.

ignoring petals
grazing my face
as I fail to resign.

my tongue feels
sore with time.

cars in a hurry
to take a dream
a street too far.

Cat No. 110 of the 500 Cats Project

clumsily, in taste

she ate crème brûlée with the bluntest fork.
this afternoon, her first time.

she wanted to tell the world and its
mother that she finally knew what
she had missed, what she had feared,
and all she could only read about
between walls so thin like the red worn
by crisp, dainty apples washed with joy.

morning is rarely missed, returning too soon
with birds in the middle of gossip’s fifth round
piercing the lightest blue, and she’ll learn to
make some for herself, plastic spoons aplenty
as the clock does stand oh so wonderfully still.

it was never too late for the girl
who shook and cried after an unbroken fall.

Cat No. 109 of the 500 Cats Project

a lost love

I wonder and worry
about things done on Friday
that I’m pretty sure someone
else has addressed.

So kind and brave.

A walk from the bakery to
another closing sandwich shop
and a protest line of stop signs
twisted at the root, six sides
falling into your yard, and only
your yard, which is great because
no one likes spending his first
late night raising a strained voice
over uneven blades of grass that
resemble, more or less, the zipper
of a lost love’s overused skirt, one
that looked good with flats only
after she realized that she was better
off without you and could say this
somewhat loudly in front of mirrors
smeared by toothpaste packaged
by liars, the jaded, and those too
familiar with late winter laziness
and joy afforded to snapped legs.

I’m pretty sure there’s something
she wants to address
but her Friday is a wordy one
eight months away, lost and found.

Cat No. 108 of the 500 Cats Project

tangy foreclosure

the radio acts up again, because
spanking never works.

and so these wrists ache.

I can scream louder, but the same
mundanity from 2004 falls to the floor
where medical bills conceal postcards
written from a friend visiting cousins
in some part of Japan that’s not
too crowded, not too cold for your
mercurial leanings toward adventure
on paper, in life, on faded lines.

don’t call her Mom; it’s not
what she ever aspired to be
while night had a while until
cars of tomorrow hummed over
the snickering of jaded crickets
unable to love or express wants
the way pretty people do
within unplanned neighborhoods.

and so these lashes sting.

the suitcase opens up again, because
kicking only hurts.

Cat No. 107 of the 500 Cats Project

dreaming in traffic

I apologize for letting
the blood show, and
I cannot take enough
of this time that’s left
to elaborate on sleep
and how it is good for
you, them, neighbors
who sing so goddamn loud.

when will I start to
understand what it is
to hold consequence?

driving by, soda cans –
leaves and the ants are
dancing, playing dodgeball
like some claim they do
with landlords who give
discounts depending on
whether they got lost in
this blunt standstill city
shortly after happy hour.

soon, I’ll hear again
and the music will
ring sweetly and I
won’t be able to tell
you the difference
between prayers and
quivering grievances
thrown onto the pane
of one glass door.

Cat No. 106 of the 500 Cats Project