THINGS THAT HAPPEN DURING PET-SITTING I REMIND MYSELF ARE NOT METAPHORS FOR MY HEART
The dog refuses to eat. I keep filling her bowl
anyway: new kibble on top of old, hoping
that it will suddenly becoming tempting.
When I write, the cat watches me from a chair.
When I look at him, he purrs loudly, leans forward
so that I might touch him. I don’t.
Now the dog refuses to come out of her cage,
no matter what I say, no matter how wide I open
the door. She knows that I am not her master.
On the couch, the cat crawls on top of me
and loves me so hard, his claws draw blood.
I was so lonely, I did nothing to stop it.
There are lights in this house I want to turn on,
but I can’t find their switches. Outside, an engine
turns and turns in the night, but never catches.
—from Rattle #40, Summer 2013
Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz: “Last year was a tough one for me and I am grateful for the poets whose work pulled me through it, among them Kevin Young, Bob Hicok, James Hearst, Sharon Olds, Jennifer L. Knox, Shanny Jean Maney, Matt Cook and Jim Daniels. If my poetry offers even half the tender comfort, sweet understanding and/or hard laughs these poets pulled from me, I would high-five the moon.” (web)