Featuring Cat

Cats feature large in my world.

Just when I think I am writing a poem about death

A cat appears in the second paragraph

When I am drawing a portrait of my husband

He sprouts whiskers and pointy ears.

At the opera listening to Un bel di vedremo

I can hear meows

And Madame Butterfly swishes a furry tail.

I own a cat, in fact

Who features large in my world.

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It’s infuriating

When someone has a secret

And is all hush hush about it

Winking and hinting about its power

To disorient

The more it’s a secret

The more I want to know

Tease it out

Ask twenty questions

Bribe the fucking secret succubus

With my own

Very worn out secrets

Such as they are

But since they are my only trade goods they

Will have to do. Admittedly

I am not a very good negotiator

Impatient and

Too lazy to lie.

My mother took most of her secrets to the grave

Never spelled out but tantalizing

Now I’ll never know

And with my mother I had nothing to trade

She knew all my secrets already.

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Married World

I am married to a man

So disconnected that when I ask him if he likes Beyoncé

He says who?

Never mind I respond

Not important.

He tells me about router bits and

The presidency of John Adams

He shoots arrows and throws knives and plays the piano

For hours

But he does not know about the riots in Minneapolis.

He is deeply concerned about the machinations of tyrants in the 19th century

But does not read the news.

Sometimes I play a popular song for him

Isn’t it great, don’t you like it? I ask

And he agrees and says he loves it very much

Hearing Mozart in his head.

When I show him an article about current events

Or a political meme that is funny

He asks, can’t we just look at cute cats?

I say fine

Because I like cute cats as much as the next guy.

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In the Garden

That afternoon was

Sunny and a little bit warm.

I was dawdling and doddering looking at green things

Pulling up weeds

Teasing the soil

Like I said, just passing the time

When I saw something move between the stones

A garden snake, scaled black and yellow

Making s-curves.

He had a small flat head and an honest-to-god forked tongue.

The next day digging in the dirt it was

Cold out but I wasn’t chilly

Because the sun was shining and I was hard at work.

I saw my snake again

This time on the other side of the path

In different rocks.

It slithered away, wouldn’t look me in the face.

Now I find myself searching for the snake everywhere

Calling to it in sibilant whispers, come

I have decided

It will be one of my spirit animals

Joining the possum, skunk and chipmunk in that role.

I am allowed to have multiple spirit animals

So long as they are small.

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Restaurant Order

Bring me

Just desserts please. I will

Skip the main course

And concentrate on ice cream

With high butter satisfaction

Mixed with sweet gleanings all

Piled high atop one

Crusty maple apple panacea drunk

With whipped custard and

Scented vanilla. Also

Bring me a bubble of wine please

Dark burgundy and aromatic

With a long stemmed smoked glass.

Bring me a mirror and the house phone

My lipstick is faded

From eating

I must speak to the chef and

Kiss him in gratitude, my

Lips and tongue

Black as ashes and colorless as anisette.

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Home on the Orange

On the rocky hillside next to my house are

Orange wildflowers.

In my official Guide

A volume over 300 pages long

Sectioned by color

Only four pages are devoted to orange blossoms.

Mine are identified as

Siberian Wallflowers

Which are related

Somewhat distantly

To cabbages.

They are fragrant and upright, not too tall

Scented heady and sweet

In the sun, I watch the bees

And the rocks.

I watch the flowers

Orange as rare as diamonds.

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Sad Story

Okay, this is a story

It just trails off at the end

Without any great denouement

No glorious coda

Just a slump backwards and a sigh

A woman alone with her dimming fantasies.

It all started

One hundred plus years ago, believe it or not

There was a girl

And out of fucking nowhere she dreams about love

She is twelve years old

And although in time she reads some books

That touch upon her sensibilities

She meets not one person in all the years that follow

Who shares her dream

Who complements her need

Not one fucking person.

And then she gets old

And her ankles hurt

And her fantasies wear out and can’t be darned

So she says.

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