Lines Written As We Sit on Our Cement Stoop Drinking Peridot-Green Wine, Leaning on Handrails Where the White Cat Perches, Ridiculously Like a Cloud
so much for sentimental, you finally say
then fluster in a litany of sadness,
I begin to see the art in losing—
most things only need the tenderness
that God gives to them, I answer.
Part Moon, Part Wing, Part Spark
A wolf knows twenty-eight names for the moon.
A hawk knows a hundred for the sky.
But cats have none
for what their hearts want most:
the other side of the door.
No, they talk with their bodies,
like the held breath of the wind,
and their tails they know you’ve noticed,
and those eyes—more wildness in the flicker there.
Nothing said, but a howling out indicated,
and green scents carried from the north,
and a need to run their claws along
some other body . . . let me in. I’ve decided
to bring you my purring.
Let-me-out let-me-out. And ’round again.
“Tell Us a Bedtime Story”
A whirr first
under the porch light
before you can see: a night-lost
hummingbird? a chunk
of fallen-down moon?
It can’t be a moth, not that big,
but it is.
There’s plenty to amaze you.
My cat likes lining them up
across the floor,
Then he looks at me
like Make them play again.
Here’s a way to disorient:
Fly straight at the eye
and hover. That’s a hummingbird.
And here’s a way
to seem like you’re running: downriver,
then wait like a pool.
Millie used to do that: run just ahead
and then turn.
She’d like these moths,
both fragile and fantastic,
like something from the pages of a book—
the ones on her dinosaur shelf—
though I’m guessing is all.
We haven’t talked in years.
What else will my cat attack?
Mice, of course, and birds,
and even a dog in the alley once:
from the fencepost.
Who knows why?
Rivers return forever—into clouds,
then into snowpack—
but the hummingbird moths
aren’t coming back around.
I can tell from my cat: because
he’s uncoiled now,
no longer crouched
And the whirring
is only traffic,
so that’s that;
I can leave off the porch light.
The moon can cross from the grass
to the sidewalk.
can take their slice of night.
Maybe some rain soon. Maybe tomorrow.
My cat will sleep.