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 upset this dry face.
composing some song, uneven tempo
awkwardly mocking mixed signals perceived.
she lost her page, calendar torn
and no one provides the correct date—
three weeks late, stalled at another bus stop.
deadline on a yellow slip, facetious detention
with which he threatens between brittle walls.
years of honest warnings, clipped and tucked
into striped inner pockets of her favorite purse—
color at its fullest, emptiness unchanged.
nothing left to do, shaking her head
as he grabs a busted pen, numbers discounted.
you say hello, the desire for
melted halfway, ice cubes
thrown into a waxing cup
where coffee rests level
to small, sleepy secrets
that tease our clear beads
spinning on dry ground.
Cats No. 85 and 86 of the 500 Cats Project
the rusted abrasion
that, for a little while,
left you thinking twice
about floor plans started.
whether they’d pay for themselves
within the almost rude visibility
of uneven paint, scratches on walls
reminding you of detached voicemails
so flat, and barely a fine example,
of how one relays quaint rejection.
spend some time
by dimming stoplights
meeker than all your points
made with mechanical pencils
broken thanks to their stubborn will.
Cat No. 84 of the 500 Cats Project
When your friend grows uncomfortable wearing black clothes
and what looks like the happiest pollen on concave roofs
sheltering enthusiasm before it grows sore
from smiling too wide at strangers
Repelling those asking too many questions
exhausts and empties the spray can
so signs are waved from highways
without lengthy scary names
She will walk down window ledges
fingers which drip of fast-drying primer
that coddle and settle thick paints down
reluctant as the bottle of a cousin’s Benadryl
Branches rattle the longer she talks
about the last she drank in dimmed light
and for each word shed you crush three petals
loud but disappearing in the navy blues of freed pleats
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I scratch my head, befuddled
and rattled, just a bit.
groups of three arriving soon,
extra packet of sugar inching
deeper into singularity’s core,
rainfall shines off tiny teeth.
I shouldn’t see the surprise,
mattress stuffed with old news.
foam laughing on a flat surface,
breaking into stairs the way
eyes become lime green flashlights,
extrapolating truth from debate.
I continue to walk cautiously
like children hiding candy.
Cat No. 83 of the 500 Cats Project
work a good job.
advice seeming sound
though butterflies grin
with such taunting quickness.
I glare, stare, as hard as one possibly dares when it feels like fried eggs litter the street, their whites like paper towels absorbing complaints and greetings and backtalk I understand too well, but do not adopt. Sometimes tree branches play their tricks like perpetually red stoplights. We think it’ll rain and fetch our umbrellas. Later, we’ll juggle our heavier bags, shoulder blades caught in summer’s pressure.
breathe the savory dream.
Cat No. 82 of the 500 Cats Project
you, former physician.
such for a reason
that I’m sure should not
be blanketed recklessly
onto every (other) individual
working the sterility
and cold reverberations
of spaces like the one
where we’ve met
time to time.
I don’t know what
should be said,
but at times I’ve felt
that my card should’ve
slept another two days
while I nodded.
cannot help but
count on now tan fingers.
children in law school
who say they cannot pass
a test that actually matters.
they, not golden,
and neither am I.
but I do not owe you
and perhaps I expected
too damn much.
however, do not expect
me to say things you
want to hear.
or explain why I refused
to talk as you tried
engaging in a grocery store
like we were almost friends.