bigger slices

mid-afternoon to-do list
suddenly bursts into
scarlet relief.

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

heat wave

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,
exploration clipped.

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

she tried to take a peek.

the morning
doesn’t hide
too far away.

neither do
tiny voyeurs
in cold hurry.

losing time
and seeds
for big skies.

I witness
youth’s trying
and gawky flukes.

every week
she’s finding
gold in quartz.

Cat No. 44 of the 500 Cats Project

sunset

crouching rhythms wait
their turn before flashlight’s touch,
for patience is pure.

emulating peace
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

catcalls

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

this that they call mania

energy,
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.

melatonin,
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

the domestic disappointed

overexposed and burning.
at the cheekbones.
brow bones.
chicken bones.
elbows.

lint in milk
is the stuff
your cousin
so pretty, refined,
with her planner
so yellowed
in the urgencies
of a careerist
untouchable
and desired,
imagines, speaks,
lies about,
to raise their heads,
not wanting more.

intentionally worked.
at the shoulders.
folders.
smolders.
colder.

frayed bookbags
are the tears
your mother
too tired, resigned
to waiting at tables
so stained
in the throwaways
of old sangria
available
and cheap,
remarks, laments,
turns away,
to leave you looking,
hearing it all.

chastised and distrusted.
at the doorstep.
sordid.
distorted.
afforded.

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