SLEEPLESS AT 4 A.M.
The universe these days is peopled
by those I am most afraid of. Behind my apartment,
two old men call to one another late in the night,
stoned and giddy. One sells me cigarettes
while the other pets my cat. Across the parking lot,
a woman is thrown shoeless and by the hair
from her crumbling apartment. In the midst of all this,
the cat slipped away, and all she left is a tuft of white fur
wrapped around my televisionís cord.
All the animals are leaving me now,
one after the other. Soon, all I will have left
to write about will be the hollow corpse of a blue bird
a fleeing cat left by the side of my car.
I have put this in a shoebox, and the shoebox
in the freezer. I can hardly fill a play with this.
The cats have taken sleep with them,
so I focus at night on cigarettes
and televised bull ridings. Cowboys are shattered,
bulls are spurred, bullsí noses retain that winsome mucous film
that makes me think I would survive a bull-hugging.
My eyes are heavy and I think of cats melting
into the shape that offers least resistance.
It is four in the morning. The hippies, flush with acid,
have started another jam session.
Diya Chaudhuri received her B.A. from Emory University and is currently in the M.F.A. program at the University of Florida. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Redivider, Zoland Poetry, elimae, anderbo, and others.