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Cate Nov 2017
the morning I left my toothbrush
on the windowsill,
the Cleveland sky smelled of laundry.

later still,
after the snow had started
in southern Ohio,

my coworker returned
to verify the body of her father.

a clear, azul dusk fell
cloudless, peaceful and still

through the turmoil in the atmosphere,
the tension of lost things
could no longer fit on a windowsill.

march 13, 2017
Cate Apr 2017
Uncomfortable white man
Looks at his watch.
Uncomfortable white man
Wants to scream at the kid
Up somewhere around row 6 or 7
To simmer down,
Stop crying.
We all feel like you.
Uncomfortable white man
Signals the attendant.
Uncomfortable white man
Is thirsty..wishes he bought a drink.
Uncomfortable white man
Doesn't want to pay six dollars for a *****.
Uncomfortable white man could afford it.
Uncomfortable white man
Glancing at his watch again
Not allowing it the time
To click to the next analogue minute.
Uncomfortable white man shifts,
Uncomfortable white man
Crossed his arms,
Grasping his wrists.
Uncomfortable white man
Isn't accustomed
To being
written for the man next to me on the plane. April 21, 2017
Cate Apr 2017
Carried home from a family occasion
and placed in the icebox,
slowly slid to the back of the fridge
as leftover moments fight for space
near the front.

Styrofoam predictions
of life after  childish ambitions
are accidentally neglected
and left to spoil,
unattended and tempted
with wayward growth.

You may find them again,
rummaging through,
making space,
or maybe just looking for something
you thought you lost.

Long since forgotten,
 the ideas molded
over the ages of a chilly
and what might have been promising
is now indistinguishable and unusable.

A small, unaffected edge may remind you
Of its purpose in a past life
and you’ll sigh
as you change the trash liner
to accommodate another failure.

You sometimes wonder
What you may have missed
piling so many options
only to be forgotten until they’re rotten.

It doesn’t help any
to be the one who has to retrieve it.
see what it is,
know what it was...
a subtle, sneaking certainty
of what it could’ve become.

more and more often, it’s too early
to stomach the sun
and you find the day
has begun without you,
as if it doubts your commitment
to present tense.

Still, you continue along hanging
from a precarious
cable car of ambivalence,
waving at each opportunity missed
as it passes you by,

your eyes
idly on the sky.

"Next time, next time"
You mutter

"Next time I'll give it a try."

Edited 4.18.17
original title "The Tragedy of Technicality".
Cate Apr 2017
I've got a hand-held mirror
and an old can of spaghetti-o's
in the back pocket
of the passenger side seat.

I'd call off instead of quitting.
I'd pack my clothes
and my books

I'd miss my quirky
little knick knacks.
I'd bring all my blankets
and a lot of beef jerky.

I'd learn to grow
my own tea.

I'd write letters.
I wouldn't send them.

I'd think of returning

I never would.
that's not junk in my trunk, it's my go bag.
Feb.6, 2016
Cate Apr 2017
the chime of a phone call awoke me.
the message was simple.
"don't come today".

The murky sun
peered curiously
past sheered grey

phasing in and out
like a kitchen light on a dimmer
or an oscillating fan.

I rarely taste this version
of morning breath much
Cate Mar 2017
I left my home
in the hands
of estranged friends

only to find it again
nearly two years later,
a weekend in Cleveland.

I made it to the door
with the last sleepy tendrils of sun
flaking from drooping eyes.

Communion is served
at 5:30 sharp by hands
adorned with hard work.

The elements are passed,
fire and glass,
'round a table with seats for 6.

It is then I realized...
in the half-light
it was decided.

I never left the pew.
My religion is still community.
for my friends. you make me whole.
Cate Mar 2017
Rusted ringlets hang
Precariously pouring out
Of a metallic scrunchy.
I can’t keep myself
From glancing intermittently
At the slight glisten
Of a cocktail
On her cupid’s bow,

Then, a few inches below,
Her taut neck,
A small piece of cloth grasping
Its sculpted edges
Begging the question
How it would feel
To cup her face
With fingers embellished
By cheap and chipping paint?

Would she settle there,
A placid pool of profundity?
Or would she seep between
The cracks of my fingers
Unable to be contained
By such a simple stranger?

She adorned the corner
Of the couch
With such grace.
It was breathtaking,
As she spoke in rhythms
Lining the crests of her intonation,
Hazel flashes kept tempo,
A conversation shifting in tandem.
Poetry in motion.
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