Better Make Sure

I had dinner in the oven and hadn’t seen my cat in a while. Sitting on the couch, I became consumed with the thought that she might have crawled into the oven somehow and was trapped in there, and that with the TV on I wasn’t able to hear her desperate meows. So I raced to the kitchen to check the oven to make sure she wasn’t in there. Nope, no cat, only lasagna. The cat is sleeping by my bedroom window. What a relief – and I’m very amused by my crazy, obsessive, fatalistic thoughts.



Did you ever look at something and wonder how long it would last, or if it was going to last forever? Did you ever find something old and wonder how it could have lasted so long? Think about you yourself, your scars, your patina. Look around you. Scan the room. Think about how much of what you see will last longer than you will. Books, clothes, furniture. All those things might be here long after you are dead and gone.


With my bed facing the window instead of being under it, the sun blinds me at around 10:30am. The cat sees that I’m awake and runs to me, kneading biscuits on my blanket, pushing pin-prick claws into my warm skin beneath it. I pet her cheek to shush her. She circles and drops on my chest in a frenzy of purrs and rests there for a few solid minutes before commencing mega-headbutts. Can I still claim that I don’t wake to an alarm?


No, I don’t miss you. I resent
your leaving me. I’m seething

fist to jowl, wondering how
you’ll get home from the airport

when you expect me there
to pick you up, a support-

ing character,
chain, ball –

Not even
a phone call?

You expect me
to be so effortless,

to wait on you
when you come home?


I’m left with an excess of heirloom sweet potatoes, hefty but long like tough winter carrots. So well-roasted the sugar is seeping through the skin, leaving dew on my hands as I handle their girth. I size them up, thinking to run my knife through tip to tip, slitting them open lengthwise if that alone will manage, chopping the largest ones in half first before peeling them apart. There are tools made for smashing them in the bowl, but I’ve chosen to use my hands instead, forcing their flesh through my fingers until everything is smoothed out, working through to the thick sludge to mash out the tough lumps, blurring the edges, blending them all together. Ready to move on, I’ve got milk and eggs standing by. Time to see what I can make out of this heap of a mess.


I want a man who likes my music
and gets the lyrics too
who dances
because he can’t help dancing

and who makes me dance
when I feel like staying
in bed all day
waiting for the hours to pass

overcome with grief and longing
feeling sorry for myself
for ever wanting
some man.

Driving Home

Where am I going? I wonder. Then
immediately I answer: nowhere.
Why can’t I figure out what to do
with my life? Because I don’t feel
like I am
meant to be alive.
Stark. OK.
Don’t think about that. Angle
the car towards the curb.
Curve the back end around.
Give it some gas.
Hold steady. Just one more time, somehow
get it up the hill backwards
without running into the house or
the neighbor’s fence.
Start to open the door.
Don’t rely on the mirror,
turn around and check. Make sure
that it is open wide enough.
Would be bad if it wasn’t,
wouldn’t it be? OK. Done.