I have been kidnapped by the cats.
They take their hostages in the night.
Ten of them, maybe twenty feline captors.
This is a town of cats. A world of them.
They flood the rotunda. To cross bodies
of water, they ride us while we swim.
The world has been taken over by the cats.
They tell time by the tail-cast
shadows on the sidewalk.
There used to be parties
In dark rooms
Salty wine broken glasses
We used to read to each other
Argue about politics over plates of pad thai
Once a poet took her chili-smeared
Thumb and put it in my mouth
She said: taste weep make music dance
In these parties you were guaranteed to fall
Into love with someone by the end
Tumbling drunk back to our basement
Apartments, our fridges of leftover ramen,
Ceilings speckled black mold
But the poet: the chili’s juices made my jaw
Clench. She let my teeth grip her skin.
When a fight broke out over modernism
We slouched into one another in the corner
Invisible to everyone but ourselves
Her finger wrapped in a bubble-gum pink bandaid.
One hand in my pocket, she said You’ll forget
All about this. And I did for a while.
Now I’m ancient, those parties gone, so
Gone. But I cut a chili today making dinner.
Without thinking, I put my thumb against
My lips. And for her
I tasted, wept, made music, danced.
Sal Teodoro lives on the east coast of Canada. His poems have been published in The Antonym, Feral, Ghost Colophon, and The Trinity Review.