POETRY May 6, 2022

Recalling a Dream of Stray Cats Everywhere

on the chaise
on every counter
on bookshelves

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.

Kristin Entler was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 6 months old, and first came out as LGBT+ several years after her diabetes diagnosis at 12 years old. She currently serves as Poetry Editor for NELLE, and lives with her service-dog-in-training, Azzie, whose name is short for the Greek God of Medicine. Entler can be found in publications such as The Bitter Southerner, Hobart, Gulf Stream Literary Magazine, and Poet Lore among others, as well as on twitter @findmycure.