after you begin

pushing through
the rusted abrasion
that, for a little while,
left you thinking twice
about floor plans started.

whether they’d pay for themselves
within the almost rude visibility
of uneven paint, scratches on walls
reminding you of detached voicemails
so flat, and barely a fine example,
of how one relays quaint rejection.

spend some time
by dimming stoplights
meeker than all your points
made with mechanical pencils
broken thanks to their stubborn will.

Cat No. 79 of the 500 Cats Project

the citrus patrol

the sign reads Sam Houston,
though it fails to disclose
the clementine identity
of the man who
raises his sunburnt head,
ears that twitch
to remind young drivers
that right is safe,
left is a risk,
and to pull the keys out
while placing a foot
on the beer bottle mosaic
set on the ground.

know that he can jump
like high school hurdlers,
and he’ll treat your sun roof
like an aquarium that houses
the world’s shiniest fish.

Cat No. 62 of the 500 Cats Project

“Take the day off.”

Thank you, for not gushing about your backbreaking benevolence today.

I didn’t particularly want to go, but went after watching caramel stick to the sides of a plastic cup. I usually end up tearing them apart. The cups, like I do with boxes of Kleenex when summer hits.

No one talks, which I don’t mind. The silence is especially tolerable as this is one of a few locations where the Disney Channel doesn’t giggle all day from a battered JVC from 1995. A wall separates the staff from the seen and I’m able to feed words into the mouths of people I don’t know who walk four stories below.

I didn’t have a story today. Neither did you. Nothing changed, aside from a session cut to a full ten minutes. Usually, there’s a girl who listens to nursery rhymes on a cassette player bandaged with Lisa Frank dolphins. I didn’t see her.

The receptionist liked my sweater. I always wear sweaters. Unlikely to change, like August’s angry sidewalks. I passed a house for rent on my way back, wondering which hurts more. A nail through softened soles, or crossing the street barefoot? This I ponder from time to time as I’m fine with a few cheap shoes.

The pulse remained in spite of the coffee. I told the nurse I stopped running. She asked me why, and I told her I found it boring. And, I’m lazy.

I wrote the renter’s number on a card in my pocket. Haven’t called.