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

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

taking care

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. 78 of the 500 Cats Project

fleeting

what ripens doesn’t stay
and who is to tell
when I make my next trip
around the block,
up the staircase
burning in age, as the boot
gives traction to the few—
or no one
that stops by anymore
to wish me, yourself
and anyone awake
the best towards the end
of these flickering weeks.

Cat No. 71 of the 500 Cats Project

observation

chicken bones upon grapefruit peels,
bubblewrap dreaming
bursts into a scowl,
the back does ache like weakened knees
as we’re not sure it’s winter.

my brothers are calling,
teasing and asking
where I stood a few nights before
while they just laughed,
busied enough to rekindle the need for upholstery.

I face the color and taste the nothings
of stale air brushing against uneven paint
and I blink, sink into observation
and think some more about how good it feels
to not wear an old frayed collar.

Cat No. 61 of the 500 Cats Project