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

find me

the common day has clouded a thought
that fried eggs on toast at least tried
to nurture, asking for meat after months
of carrots turned gray, blue, and some other
color we’ve grown to associate with living unwell.

put in the time to find me, or blow
the whistle I’ll probably hear
far into dusk’s semi-solemn disclosure
crafted in a little more than an hour
to convince you mistakes never happen.

Cat No. 83 of the 500 Cats Project