“KITTY IN A KOI POND” by Meredith Maltby

you’re in a cat onesie yes
black ears a single slinky tail

blue stilettos no
you are wearing them


you don’t know how you got here the
treasure ship pizza stand

you dropped     your pizza in the koi pond there
it is     see it floating next to the sea glass
the broken green bottles?

you kissed one boy in your cat costume
you don’t know how you managed to do that—

       later he will assemble your drying rack     while you sit
on the couch, motionless in your fleece       still a cat      still
in the living room     like a sphinx      like a great       crater        a moon with an orbit
just     rocks they’re just
big   rocks—

(if you speak you will ruin
something               big                        something

big blue alive)—

you will stare at a fish tank for over forty-five minutes
in a bar during mardi gras

they will be so lovely and real
your false red eyelashes are glued to the tank           so      red

with life there is blood in the fish tank no
you don’t know how you did that      no—

they were so lovely      you took them out with the scoop of a claw
their     gills     are     soaking

in your claw the fish are beautiful the fish are lovely only if they love

                    you back—

you are wearing them on your claws no you are wearing them yes—



MEREDITH MALTBY is from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is the poetry editor for the Tulane Review and was a featured poet at Design Cloud Chicago’s HERE / NOW event. Meredith has previously published her work in OVS Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Chicago Tribune, Vending Machine Press, Gravel Journal, , among others.
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