on the chaise
on every counter
reaching for doorknobs
talons in tables
my memory like fever
little else besides the sheer number of cats
& the more I looked around whatever dark,
anxious space there were more and more cats
of every color . . . though most were just variations on calico. & no noise, just cats.
& when I tell you about it, I know you will ask me what else there was. & listen:
who’s to say what all these cats are a metaphor for—clinic appointments to corral
then endure, or insurance bills I must organize, or my own psyche spread out
across every corner of my apartment like my laundry I still need to wash,
or shirts and socks themselves waiting for me to pay attention to them.
All I know is, I stood in some liminal space with every cat in the world
& was responsible for them all at once; if you were there (I can’t say
for certain that you were) you were the cat with one gray eye.
& I don’t know about you but I haven’t felt human in a long, long time.