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On Words like Black and Cat

Superstition starts at home. Or sometimes in restaurants,
like when that stranger in the booth spilled salt and threw

the crystals over his shoulder, a mineral shower that stormed
my aunt’s lap. And now in my family, you don’t throw anything

while — salt, rice, ivory, teeth, volleyballs — unless you want to end
up at the closed-down church of Elvis shaking your vanilla-wrapped

hips and singing I do, I do, I do. I used to count steps until my throat
found the margin for error between black and dark,

and then I said nothing in that gray space where the light posts
live. There is a dust cloud named Cat that I keep in the pocket

of my rain coat. We’ve gone through the A names and B names
and hopefully we will never get to Dust Cloud Daniel.

You can’t rub it for good lust because it will crumble
to birdseed and root itself in the tips of your fingers.

My hands blossom too early sometimes, an accidental
bouquet of bloody blooms. My aunt’s husband urges me

to peel a potato and stick the eyes on my thumbs. Dresses
must reach the edges of my knees, sugar gets licked from

corner tables. In every restaurant, I sit behind men
who cut their meat with clumsy knives.

 

~ Palm Reading

Image of black cat taken with iphone while grilling.
Words written while blanketed on couch.
Time Taken six minutes plus coffee.
Brain on the promises of rewards if I get my work done.

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This entry was published on June 10, 2012 at 11:05 am and is filed under CA, June, Poems, Redwood City, Self-Portraits. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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