10. On the other cats.

baby boy listens to polka on sunday mornings,
b-sides by the shangri-las at night.
in the room,
a night-light casts a private moon along the world.
each plaintive cry suggests the truth;
that we like baby less,
or even
that we never liked baby at all.

he lacks the sentience to know
he is a placeholder, to know

the sorrow that birthed him to us on a crisp october day.
baby boy knows,

he waits.
baby steps, baby cries.
a small whine in a world of silence.
baby will listen to gospel in the meantime.
The oldies will blast, still,
when the house is empty.

little mama tells lies through her skeleton,
she trusts when she slinks.
she sits and watches as if

impossible to hold her cards so close to her breast.
gravity has given mama a tautness on top;
belly at the bottom.

in this revelation of movement, ever deliberate,
I know I resent her the most.
she curls in old familiar places, lacking
the weight and truth of my companionship.

she loves me bluntly;
i return
her affections, unopened,
disregarded,
redeemed.

-C.

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