A poem in two parts:
My cat drags a movie star onto my feet while I'm sleeping. Under the covers, on top of my feet! The movie star is wet and still. My first thought, octopus under my toes, then I wake up shrieking. The cat shrieks in response and plummets into a wall. When I turn on the lights, I can't see the movie star; she's under the covers. So I make that quick ugh, ugh, sound you make when you don't know what something is, but you're sure it's disgusting. I stand by the door and rip back the covers. The movie star lies there curled up, covered in creamy suede and cat snot. Oh Christ! I yell at the cat. What the hell is wrong with you! I see my window's open and slam it shut; that's probably how the movie star got in. I go to the kitchen, cursing at the cat, to get some rubber gloves so I can haul the movie star from my bed. The cat jumps up on the sink and offers me his cheek to kiss -- he thinks if he pretends, we can both get beyond this.
The grey and white cat crouches
on the roof in the snow, watching
me through my kitchen window
as I add pepper to the rigatoni.
I talk to it in a high-pitched
voice -- the voice I use for babies.
Why is the past always lodged
in my teeth? Milk in glass bottles
balancing in unstained aprons.
Red-checked tablecloths hanging
from a clothesline. I had hoped
to escape through the oven,
crawl through to the library
made of chocolate, to the fields
of redeemable coupons.
See that woman? If I open
the window it disappears under
the trees . You'll never know
what I felt for her, the go-carts
filled with exclamations points.
How you love cheddar,
everyone keeps exclaiming.
How large your front teeth are,
and how small your hands.