Where the Wild Cat's Paw Found my Pulse

Michelle Bitting

I let the red thread go slack so you could find your way out.
I lifted my skirt and tucked totems inside for simmering. A riot gathered,
my thighs gaining strength to kick loud as my folds gleamed fatter.
Your house, leaning in, whispered its harshest verdict from fracked
trees that tossed their heads and grimaced, lean skulls nodding,
sighs crossing water to the edge of the world. What the soul
kept tuned inside a black chrome pot on the stove
emitting sweet-smelling vines, sometimes whining. Still, we are all
capable of love, given time. While I’m on my own with the gods
of oblivion I’ll think myself into a honey stupor, see what comes
of bee and bird keeping by day, constellations flogging the gorge,
alive with centipedes at night. Leaving. I’d miss it. And eat dirt relearning
the dark dream. Gatsby, the green light’s gone, sold for some girl’s folio
left in a bathroom stall. All you needed: a dangled stone
to carve near the lake casting afternoon currents, shape of wind
crying its red eyes out. Forgotten hour the winter chill conjures.
There’s the sign, there’s the wake to crown an old face in, star ledge
to leap from. We’ll admit the thrill of being tossed to a freezing pool,
breaking glass surfaces. What I thought was true with every orifice
flooded, the chorus only sensed after you’d sunk, cementing shoes
to a dream-bogged bottom. Where the prettiest monsters live. Where we long
to recall the terror, the perfect beauty of that drowning, leaf-flecked refrain.