I prefer to walk under threats of a storm
for my cigarettes, to a mini-store
not around for many more blocks.
Only the neighborhood black cat sees
through the first white lie I’ve made in months.
The one I made in line for a license.
That Tuesday where my pencil’s
hurry encircled twenty-twenty.
My grandmother once gave me a look—
Why would I want to see things that clearly?
Her husband had succumbed that year
to lung cancer, which left her dust
in stainless steel. Though she wore her glasses
with a thick cord around the house, and
made me perfect purls which curved into
a cap I forget every December.
Though I’ve not decided on a belief
the restless roam where cats relieve
themselves, a quicker pace picks up.
I try to recall the name of a book kept
for sometime from the library, on a kind
of realism. The one where a maiden
ascends into heaven through butterflies—
creatures who have lifted my grandmother
as I’d told my six-year-old niece, last year.
To the cat, it matters little why or how long
it has been since my last one. Without turning,
in a rustle its purr has taken cover
under one of the fire trees just passed. And I am
the lone breath in the middle of a road going uphill,
with not even my true vision to conceal
from the rain, my childish intention.