house

Unhappy

glass

A snow globe held

tiny fragile plastic

specs of white

and shiny glitter

in a slushy sort of

watery membrane,

mixed in a liquid

that bubbles to the top

when shaken.

A miniature tree rests

next to a cobblestone house

with a red door and

checkered windows.

Something feels the need

to interrupt its stillness

and the settled snow and

shiny bits that look so tempting.

The whiteness rises to the top

and cascades around the

baby building.

Everything swirls

and it looks silent

and serene but it’s

really just chaos.

It’s shaken twice more and

then it’s allowed to rest,

but the tree

leaks teardrops

and the house

is horrified

and suddenly

the snow seems

dull and the glitter

doesn’t shine and all

this entire bubbled-up scene

wants is a moments rest,

some peace to forget

it’s constantly being

disturbed.

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Frigid

 

A house built with ice

Sits frozen on what could be

A familial street

Those that reside inside

Wish for warmth

But instead given

Cold glances and are

Forced to look past the

Barbed wire that

Entangles the front porch and

Stretches before the doorway

Where a house mat tries to

Welcome in guests that are

Never allowed past the corridor

Careful breaths are taken and

Held in, only to be released

Seeing each molecule of

Gas float and disappear in an instant

It takes so long to breathe but

Seconds to remind us that we walk a

Thin cable between living

And just making it by

But sometimes breathing inside of

This wasteland of

Tundra bricks and mortar

Is the only thing that stops the patients from

Losing what is left of their minds

Still, they forget they have

Slippery tongues and they

Accidentally allow

Ungrateful words, regrettably exchanged

Icicles that hang

Shatter like the

Broken bits of inhabitants,

Those that sit and wait

Wondering what will set off a

Fire that aims to burn down

The ice-house

 

Burning, it melts

Goodhearted laughs

Board games and clean dishes

No matter—it can be put out

With a headshake and

A whisper,

“What’s the point of going on”

Bile rises in two or maybe three throats

But no one can release the tension

They hold inside every half-hour

The ice always returns

Unbreakable and surviving

With elements of

Pretend prayers and frozen water and

Flames that can be put out by

Tears of twelve-year-olds and

Closed doors that no key can open

The prisoners shiver silently

And hope that one day they

Can destroy the ice that

Has been attempting to hold

Everyone together

Sleeping with Lions

I am constantly amused and, in most cases, distraught, at the way my cats behave at night.

I have probably mentioned several times that I have two cats. Florence is only a little over a year old, and Zooey just turned one year.

Cats are nocturnal, which is rather unfortunate for any human who wants to get a full nights sleep. Dubbed house-cats, they certainly have not lost their wild-animal behaviors. They go on the prowl, snoozing all day and stalking at night. The use their fangs and claws, to show they mean business, and they are always ready to save me from a dangerous ant or fly.

They nap a good 16-20 hours a day, sleeping in hidden locations so they cannot be seen by other predators (the vacuum and brush being a common threat).

Then, at night, the hunt begins.

To start, Florence will be napping in her usual 11 p.m. location, which is either one of our couches or under a desk. Zooey comes to wake her partner-in-crime up, typically by going into the kitchen to get a snack before their late-night escapades.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can't they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

I can respect their sleeping schedules, now why can’t they reciprocate the favor? No worries, their cuteness makes me forget.

Upon hearing this, Florence wakes up, does some pre-romping yoga and will typically trot around until Zooey is done.

And, just when I think everything will be normal, just for once, they start.

They chase each other back and forth, from the front of the house to the back, clambering into anything that may have gotten in their way. They run up and down the stairs; thump thump thump thump THUMP and then launch themselves around the corner to do it again.

Then they roll around. Zooey will pounce on Florence, and Florence will lunge at her like two lions fighting for the last bit of zebra. As they tussle, toss and turn on the floor, they meow and hiss and growl–and then stop for a brief moment, just to lick each others fur out of their toes.

It’s all good fun, for them at least.

I’m glad they like playing together, but if they could understand human-talk, I would plead, “Do you have to do this at 12 a.m.?” I snuggle into my bed at somewhere around 1 a.m., hearing silence that I have been longing for. But then, Zooey decides to go to the “watering hole,” which in my house is either the leaky sink or the fish tank. This makes more noise, either the clanking of dishes in the sink or the glub glub glub of the fish tank filter being unplugged.

Zooey also picked up a wonderful habit, which includes leaping from a chair and latching onto our hanging basket plant. If I didn’t fear the safety of the plant and ceiling, I would say this Tarzan move is hilarious.

Although domesticated and living in the comforts of our little abode, I can say these felines will never truly lose their wild side. The question is, when will my lions ever let me have some rest?