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Знает кошка, чьё мясо съела.
The cat knows whose meat she ate.
    ~ Russian proverb

Black ears bowtie and tail
Came in the baggie
I’d detached the tail from her black minidress
That it’d overstretched
Wrote whiskers on her face with a pencil
So she went as a bobcat
Another cat’s here too
With beige tail attached to beige minidress
But no whiskers
What kind of cat is that
With wiggling hips
Facing the raucous band
Over which none can speak
A really sexy kind
Dancing vacant-faced
With a cowgirl and a temptress of a sort
I can’t identify
For companions
Through a long set until they’re joined
By a wolfman who’s just bounded in
Fondles each of them in turn
Grabbing a beige ass
That wiggles harder than ever in response
Before he scampers off to other doggal activities
The girl who came with him seems an interesting sort
Aware eyes looking back
At this little black cat
Who’d like to get to know her better
But can do no more than watch
Which isn’t terribly entertaining
When neither of them wiggle very much

“Why would they want it so loud?”

“I suppose it’s because
  If you want something from a typical American
  Besides work or sex
  You won’t be understood”

“A lot of them don’t do sex very well”

“Frightened of each other as they are
  They’d probably run away from a partner
  Who came chasing them for more than a moment’s palming
  And as for work
  Think of how we had to chase the guys we hired to make sure this home was fixed up
  With attention to detail
  And when we didn’t go atop the roof ourselves when it was replaced
  It turned out improperly installed and leaking”

“No wonder nobody who starts dancing together would want to talk”

“But how many one night stands can be arranged
  By pure body language?”

“How many could be arranged
  If the prospective lovers felt obliged
  To reveal themselves to each other
  Because they could?”

“Not everyone’s so shallow”

“Probably not the woman who caught your eye”

“I’d bet she was dragged there”

“Hey, I hadn’t been to these parties before”

“Didn’t you go to any Halloween party
  Even as a kid?”

I think back to the year
I went with a colander on my head
Colorful yarn spewing from its orifices
It was her idea and her yarn
She was nothing if not original
In those days before the adoption
The cruelty and violence
The mental hospital
I was only happy to be different
Didn’t give a hoot about showing up dorky
To the church
Where some grownups considered the outfit cute
Awarded first prize for creativity
Recognized her in that small way
Though the other kids despised me all the more for that outcome
Too asleep to come up with anything new
What do I care
What any of them think?

She was artistic
And maybe some of it rubbed off
Isn’t the highest art always that which comes into being with some help
From the universe
No matter how careful my visioning
Nothing in reality comes out quite as I anticipate
It’s always richer
So not only have I got red metallic hair
Metallic beads that match and come in other colors too
A heart of finger-painted beta-carotene on my cheek
With an arrow penciled through
But also that heart fittingly bleeds
As some of the runny nutrient drips from its lower edge
These dancing sleepers may dream that blood connotes horror
But I’ve awakened to observe
As with traditional Chinese medicine
That it carries sadness
All can see dripping away
Down my face
Toward Earth’s core
Toward oneness with the ocean
For which it’s a microcosm
Returning toward primal union
In primal joy

“The parties I went to back then weren’t as loud
  But I’ll admit they were just as pointless”

“That would explain
  Why you didn’t meet anyone interesting there either”

“They might’ve been there
  But who would’ve known?”


Thanks always returns

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