Cat Hour

from East/east/west

Hot pavement witness: the gypsy-cursing

funeral-converted Cadillac, hatchback

wide open outside city hall, a haunting


moan through the century

like the train over Monroe.

The sun, day peaked,


as everyone opens doors,

leaving their office on a single track

there and back, for lunch, for post,


for bank –

or us, out in Browne’s green span,

houses neat-ish, a few ruffled


window shades, our grocery sacks,

our coffee glaze, our dog walks,

our cut-grass sidewalk haze. Now,


the season is ill with rain,

leaves, and nasty basement fevers.

Snow on Mount Spokane slips


through cloud’s mantilla embrace,

like fingers through the fade of

a Rosauers bag on the 66.


A cat with a bell murmurs, I am 

without your hell.

I have no location in mind,


a studio, a supermarket,

a porch scorched to flaking.

I feel safe to think of you now.


So, I scramble home from the linoleum lines,

the uncomfortable stacks of tomatoes –

stutter past, again, the hollow tree


where I saw her speak. That same queen

ambles out onto my backyard.

She scratches her nape on the steps,


her clowder watching in the shrubs. She doesn’t ask

to come closer, she doesn’t ask anything at all.