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

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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

where it’s cooler

they’ve caught us again.

pointing fingers
or at least pawing
at limbs quick to break
as wind chimes somehow
get the idea that they could muster
volume in voice, a shout that quiets the town.

hide another crumb beneath these dry leaves
and nod your head for every single ant
who defies these jagged pebbles
that spin and mar the surface
not belonging to red hoods
of cars, nor old sweaters.

underneath, it’s cooler.

Cats No. 93 and 94 of the 500 Cats Project

Dangling Mobile of Ordinary

Mercy of a lazy afternoon.

Babies asleep, sign on door says
it’s just not smart to ask for
conversation.

Or start it.

The car battery’s given up for this
particular meantime. You can hold
your breath, but the bluebonnets
won’t. They did their time, daring
not to quiver as the babies smiled
on command.

Most people still have their senior
yearbook.

Nowadays, it’s a breakfast tray,
hosting more napkins than cups of
black coffee since the city declared
it wants to cut down. How many
cups could fit on the glossy block,
flat the way some people like their
leisurely soda?

I couldn’t tell you,
so I guess we’ll never know
while most of the questions
I’ve left by your door
run back to me, wet streets
stained, smelling of Big Red
that only I can taste.

You will discover more things that
always spun over your bed.

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

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