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

We are going to China.

Charlie, we’ll go on a journey.
The one I’ve promised,
for every seared slice
of pork I’ve snatched
from your bright red bowl.

We are going to China,
whether you like it or not.
But I’ve got a feeling,
as you giggle upright,
that anywhere’s better than here.

You spy a chaparral inches away
and utter suggestions
humbly like those guilty moths
that destroyed sissy’s sweater.
Not quite soft, not quite us.

I chew on my paw and dig,
remembering all your belated birthdays
and how I tried to apologize,
falling on my back,
greetings unheard.

Wine glasses chime from within
and they draw from a hat.
Summer downpour waiting.
I will continue to hope
while you pack our bags.

Cat No. 46 of the 500 Cats Project