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Still Life with Cat Skeleton

Some nights the lullabies are too loud
and the light too pink the following morning.

Some days the words you say to me when you're angry
smell exactly like birthday cake. Other days

I don't want to eat apricots or know the difference
between arriving and departing.

The plastic cat skeleton on the edge of my desk is not
a symbol for God. The cat skull tattooed on my arm

doesn't mean I know what's coming. I don' t blame you
for the broken carousel at the wharf

or the late checkout at the hotel, and I don't blame you
when I recognize someone I almost married on the street.

The plastic cat skeleton on my desk doesn't know the difference
between a love letter and a cicada wing,

even when they're lying beside each other while we lie
on our backs, staring at the ceiling.

Kat Lewis

The Gettysburg Review

Autumn 2018

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