mid-afternoon to-do list
suddenly bursts into
waiting on the highest porch and falling down at the slightest sound
made by cars laughing at “yield” signs and most things resembling them.
stay a while
and console yourself
counting hangnails on long thumbs.
the lonely man at the corner reminds us everyday that five is a lie
and fourths make up the most filling portions of award-winning pies.
one nose, single brain
tracking the last dime
with no light criticisms.
Cat No. 75 of the 500 Cats Project
light off the horizon
bounces back onto you,
shielding your eyes
and patting your knees.
unruly bangs in flight,
disrupted and singed
like shavings of whiskers,
it is doubtful we’ve met
though the humming I hold
operates on AAA batteries
charged again, thoughtlessly.
the coolness of soil
in margarine pots
are the feathered pillows
you’d like to buy.
my shadow stays put
and my nods remain curt
while you turn towards home,
checkered tennis shoes far apart.
Cat No. 47 of the 500 Cats Project
too far away.
in cold hurry.
for big skies.
and gawky flukes.
gold in quartz.
Cat No. 44 of the 500 Cats Project
crouching rhythms wait
their turn before flashlight’s touch,
for patience is pure.
that falls in time with letters
sent in lack of angst.
drifting past critics
kept in their ironed blazers
who want the unseen.
pacing lesser now
and watching laughter soften
like candle wax faith.
Cat No. 42 of the 500 Cats Project
She walks in a short red skirt,
stitched sharply like a Burberry bag
with good luck napkins hastily stashed
on the morning of her twentieth interview.
Another Chevy Tahoe rolls by,
and nervously, she shakes her head
to decline a bite to eat
as she’s full, and can’t stand strangers.
Lawyers, accountants, pharmacists
and other tall ladies in pastel scarves
do roll their eyes as she often does
in the face of finger-painted sentiments.
The digit on the left, single and pale
when there are no reasons to drive to the beach
and off-black strands to the right, so matted
where burgundy glasses almost slip off the ear.
Heels to be heard three blocks south
click closer and always, she stops to breathe
stilling herself to say, “Hello”
before my indifference to downtown ogling.
*Cat No. 38 of the 500 Cats Project
I don’t know you.
But I’m caught
grappling with excess
and stressors floating
in a plastic cup,
slices of strawberry,
and the pinch of limes.
But is it enough
to wake me up?
The elevator mirror
laughs autopilot at every commuter,
while nickels drop
in a trashcan
where eager orange peels
pantomime and smile
beneath the sunlight
out of time.
mistook for the thing
that paints rainbows
and syntactic breadth,
may, in proper acknowledgement,
drift to save us all.
*Cat No. 37 of the 500 Cats Project
overexposed and burning.
at the cheekbones.
lint in milk
is the stuff
so pretty, refined,
with her planner
in the urgencies
of a careerist
to raise their heads,
not wanting more.
at the shoulders.
are the tears
too tired, resigned
to waiting at tables
in the throwaways
of old sangria
to leave you looking,
hearing it all.
chastised and distrusted.
at the doorstep.
you’ll never fold laundry
exactly how she’d like it.
but at least for once
you’ll meet those who won’t mind.
*Cat No. 36 of the 500 Cats Project
there were terms once in our parlance.
drafted on faded
on the roof
while youths sit still.
the unchecked elite.
*Cat No. 35 of the 500 Cats Project
the cardboard torn says “Antiques.”
describes you perfectly as you stare.
and as you aren’t a lamp from IKEA,
I look to the side, and walk away.
you know, like when you were younger,
and your elders told you to ignore mean things.
I know you aren’t mean, exactly.
but greetings from strangers
mumble like the very mosquito
nestling into your ankle.
I’m wondering if I should nestle
in the dust of the earth,
in the vase that gapes
by a van emptied of ice cream,
upholstered with patchwork fur.
*Cat No. 27 of the 500 Cats Project