some dehydrated thought

there was once a time when I thought hazelnut
truffles fell from the sky, and I asked in the
middle of downtown morning traffic.

who am I to even mention traffic? I haven’t
had a car in years.

it’s an ethics thing for me, like not wearing
wooden square-bead bracelets showcasing
saints striking ten different poses.           don’t
press the gas if you can’t turn the wheel.

and don’t start conversations about certain
people who’ve received the same amount of
confidence you’ve placed in your sad self.

I watched a documentary on husbands who
can’t feel.           They mumbled their vows as
their mothers cried, like the brides would in
several months. occasionally, I stare at the
ceiling, crumpling napkins in colorless fists.

I wonder if I’m anything like these men, if
I’ve ever really wanted anyone.

undoubtedly, I’ve always envied the act of
being, but I’ve never met someone who
taught this.           pedagogy is a loaded word
long hallowed by some who can’t order fries
without leaving behind some slap-worthy smirk.

the hazelnut truffles rest on my countertop
that begs for Clorox, just as my eyelids
calmly give up their strained resolve.

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listeria

he crossed a boundary, sturdy chest pressed
by a thin, pale finger (slightly bent).

plastic ring, the sparkling pink
invites a smirk to dance:
trivial moments shall upset
this one dry face.

composing some song, uneven tempo
that awkwardly mocks mixed signals
perceived weeks before autumn.

she lost her page, calendar torn
and no one provides the correct date.

three weeks late and stalled
at another rusted bus stop.

deadline on the yellow slip,
facetious detention with which
he threatens her between four
brittle walls, barely there.

honest warnings, clipped
and tucked for years, into
striped inner pockets of
a favorite purse with color
at its fullest, unchanged.

this new emptiness grabs her
by the chin, shaking her head
as boys of the past grab busted
pens, scrawling their numbers.

to discount and disconnect
all over again.

Cats No. 112, 113, 114, and 115 of the 500 Cats Project

the swan forgot the lyrics

tie my hair back
feeling strands
defy the resolve
of the unwound.

too many tasks
written on walls
pressed upon by
frazzled fingers.

the more I want,
the less I retain.

explanations dry
themselves so
no one else runs
their bills amok.

plan the purge
while tucking in
sheets of paper
stamped in blue.

fewer places left,
petals out to melt.

straps will fall
and the mouth
withdraws every
second guess.

dip my two feet
into stilled ponds
waiting for years
within hot lobbies.

not at all rushed

I’ve got a feeling
you’ve been told
the same things.

fawned over, so
incomparable.

how many dimes
add up to fill our
modest fridges?

it’s fine to ask
in hunger.

but waiting on
your answer has
quieted the rain.

your truth could
sting the eyes.

all I have that
no one’s seen
in spry delight.

I stand along fine
old curbsides.

ignoring petals
grazing my face
as I fail to resign.

my tongue feels
sore with time.

cars in a hurry
to take a dream
a street too far.

Cat No. 110 of the 500 Cats Project

clumsily, in taste

she ate crème brûlée with the bluntest fork.
this afternoon, her first time.

she wanted to tell the world and its
mother that she finally knew what
she had missed, what she had feared,
and all she could only read about
between walls so thin like the red worn
by crisp, dainty apples washed with joy.

morning is rarely missed, returning too soon
with birds in the middle of gossip’s fifth round
piercing the lightest blue, and she’ll learn to
make some for herself, plastic spoons aplenty
as the clock does stand oh so wonderfully still.

it was never too late for the girl
who shook and cried after an unbroken fall.

Cat No. 109 of the 500 Cats Project

a lost love

I wonder and worry
about things done on Friday
that I’m pretty sure someone
else has addressed.

So kind and brave.

A walk from the bakery to
another closing sandwich shop
and a protest line of stop signs
twisted at the root, six sides
falling into your yard, and only
your yard, which is great because
no one likes spending his first
late night raising a strained voice
over uneven blades of grass that
resemble, more or less, the zipper
of a lost love’s overused skirt, one
that looked good with flats only
after she realized that she was better
off without you and could say this
somewhat loudly in front of mirrors
smeared by toothpaste packaged
by liars, the jaded, and those too
familiar with late winter laziness
and joy afforded to snapped legs.

I’m pretty sure there’s something
she wants to address
but her Friday is a wordy one
eight months away, lost and found.

Cat No. 108 of the 500 Cats Project

our barest vacancies

Plastic, glass, transparency.

You who have given your best so freely while the vanilla
inside the busted freezer solidifies so stubbornly
and stabs all youth’s sides.

Go ahead.

Run in this finicky heat and tell me if you’ve won
today’s crackling debate.

Apply all you could know into the pores, some large
and some like the point on a pencil sharper than
your thesis statement born on foggy mornings when cars
kiss backsides with force and unfulfilled hunger.

Streets keep winding regardless of the time
your eyes spent lost in smeared fine print that
never seems to make up its damn mind the longer
you take to wrap a bow around runaway reasons.

Even in houses with manicured lawns, Swarovski
figurines convulse on clean tile floors.