the new familiar

The specter has left. That’s what we’ve been told.
But its tears are like hope spilled from shattered fish bowls.
Gray eyeliner, darker still. The cleanser is rolling, out of reach.

I feel so silly, counting the cartwheels performed without grace.
My breath, like school glue splattered on a faded binder.
Impeach what’s no longer discrete. It’s out there, like cheese on rye.

As a girl, they called me the littlest Matryoshka doll.
So small and quiet. Easily forgotten at the end of the road.
They always sat me down, told me in private that all my thoughts were off.

Today, I get some phone calls. From people. Those people.
The house won’t sell for less than what I say, but they laugh.
Again, I clear my throat, looking to see if I’ve scared them.

Children are territorial. Sometimes, when the lights die down.
When the lights are tired, or so they proclaim.
Exhaustion is a trench coat for the big wigs dyed at the fringes.

Arms crossed, back as flat as it can possibly get. We’re sore.
An imbalance that burdens our asphalt shoulders.
The everyday whistle, tea kettle cringing in time with shut doors.

rosemary tangerine tea

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

I’m losing my way, or at least I feel so as I trip over my own sore feet upon making contact with a man riding his bike. His baseball cap reads “CIA” and I find my mouth drying up for no logical reason. Tell me about something that is logical. Show me cubes of equal dimensions, the kind that makes iced coffee so aesthetically pleasing on some Italian stranger’s Instagram.

The scarlet crawls across my face, but I advise you to look at my fingers if you aim to make a connection between changes in color and dropping temperatures. My heater does the best it can, and I complain when I shouldn’t, but understand that coldness has always been foreign to me, and I don’t quite know what a heatwave is.

I wake up earlier and write more, about things that belong on a word processor and not on a sheet of pretty paper. That’s not to say I do not enjoy writing about visas, deportation, that Oakland warehouse fire, and Donald Trump. But getting paid for poetry sounds fun, and here I am again, losing my way, stating the obvious, while thinking of how to describe St. Augustine grass in a way that commands several people to care.

Thirty minutes out of the day are spent on pilates. I used to run, but now I cannot. The corkscrew remains my favorite move. The gray cat sits still, wrapped in my cardigan, while Tabby peeks out of the futon’s shadows. I finish the routine, open the cupboard, and grab the tin of tangerine rosemary tea. Still, I cannot shut up about how good it tastes, blended with milk and honey. It doesn’t hurt yet, to drink so much sugar. I don’t think I’ve had my first cavity.

I set aside books that take up space, but I remember too well that there stands a dumpster behind a nearby bookstore. It’s filled with books, and according to someone who claimed to organize the shelves, these are books that kids were actually paid for. Somehow, this saddens me.

I’m saddened by the leaves torn across the ground. Articles about men (boys?) piss me off, and I’m still congested, on my fourth cup of tangerine rosemary tea. Perhaps I need a nap. Need. That’s a loaded word. The gray cat wriggles out of the cardigan I love to wrap him in while two people near my doormat argue about whom that was so callously “played.”

Seasons.

clear winter

leaves do fall,
a convenient rain
crackling beneath
our wandering feet
and soaking between
complacent jaws
that yawn within
a periphery wild
with plans to meet
our nearby friends
sometime, this clear winter.

Cats No. 59 and 60 of the 500 Cats Project

the porch

“needs upholstering.”

    decent shade.

fix it up, and it does the job. we promise.

oh, in a month
the plans shall come
and feet will be heard,
third floor and up.

it is like Spring Cleaning
though cuticles peel
and lips split
as the wind plays
the rusted harmonica
of bad habits,
twenty-one days to crack.

the goal here,
while the bleach wipes
drench the tabletops
and wall clocks
steady like owls,
is hidden within a wall
where the mice escaped to.

Cat No. 58 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