catcalls

She walks in a short red skirt,
stitched sharply like a Burberry bag
with good luck napkins hastily stashed
on the morning of her twentieth interview.

Another Chevy Tahoe rolls by,
and nervously, she shakes her head
to decline a bite to eat
as she’s full, and can’t stand strangers.

Lawyers, accountants, pharmacists
and other tall ladies in pastel scarves
do roll their eyes as she often does
in the face of finger-painted sentiments.

The digit on the left, single and pale
when there are no reasons to drive to the beach
and off-black strands to the right, so matted
where burgundy glasses almost slip off the ear.

Heels to be heard three blocks south
click closer and always, she stops to breathe
stilling herself to say, “Hello”
before my indifference to downtown ogling.

*Cat No. 38 of the 500 Cats Project

the former

there were terms once in our parlance.
wits,
thoughts,
and postulations
drafted on faded
paper used
for etching
floor plans
as handstands
on the roof
make headlines
while youths sit still.

hummingbirds
prattle,
the unchecked elite.

wood panels
fall,
inward sighs.

*Cat No. 35 of the 500 Cats Project

Question, but do not Question

the child etches “whys” into forsaken dust
heels cracked, swollen, the bluntness of shale
nowhere to be found, a necessary venture
untouched, but coarser as scorned wives scream
when batteries melt, and cigarettes curl
and water in the fountain will tempt
the most sensible of traveling birds
that harbor terrors on which newscasters feed
and face masks adore, eyes and brows
do shrivel in the face of deified plague
vague, calculated prospects
and suspects exiled as the arbitrary talk

*Cat No. 14 of the 500 Cats Project

An Unpredictable Spring Awakening

Contentment’s pastoral peace
Runs through the veins of leaves that mother
Appeasing myself, as I lay
Soaking up the quiet, and thinking
About what The Economist plans to post
On its front page, a month from now

I rest, beneath a buried scorn
For the weather forecast that lied
Because if it were really 44 degrees
I could be indoors
Reading an Economist stained with Earl Grey

But why the displeasure
It has no space
To brood and preach
As children race on cardboard skateboards
Without their coats
And freed of boots

*Cat No. 13 of the 500 Cats Project

The Neighborhood Refuge

There is this portal
where we all go when children
rudely proclaim their secrets
once they walk from the bus stop

This is the place
we list on our pamphlets
when felines unresting
need somewhere to stay

OgAnoXYThis is a frame
in time that’s stilled
where pictures become invisible
at an outsider’s first peek

*Cat No. 3 of the 500 Cats Project

Holiday Hiding

How to stand out in this pacifist colony
of cats the shade of night, textures that calm?
I foresee these next two weeks
to be uneasy on my ears
whiskers will help me find my way home
so before it gets too crazy
I suppose I’ll hide
and nap, like I’m known to do

*Cat No. 2 of the 500 Cats Project