Wild Cats of the Wall

I met my spirit among them, the wild cats of the wall. They licked their bellies and spent the dawn slinking between orange and azure shadows. They were lithe, and they were all there: calico, tortoiseshell, solid, and tabby. The wall stretched along the edge of San Juan.

The birds suppressed their songs. Sing, hissed the cats, we will seek and eat you anyway.

The fronds thrashed in their soils. Calm, called the waves, we will rip and drink you soon enough.

There she was, a woman tucked between the rocks. She had the complexion of the coqui- oily, translucent, and beige. She met my gaze and shook it, nice to meet you.

Her eyes were firm. They looked like mine, but the irises and pupils had traded paintbrushes, the brown for the black. Hers were twin galaxies centered on dust clots, dual ruins of an extinguished earth. She must have been the future suspended in itself. Mine were screaming and empty in the middle of a dead and dying world. I must have been the present chained to its continuity.

Her hips, how they descended to her toes, how we exist in arcs and archways.

Her ribs, how they whispered to her nipples, how our breath adores our bodies.

I was afraid I’d fall into the ocean if I closed my eyes against hers. I was so afraid.

And when I did, I did

But the water took the fear

And split it, unevenly,

between the cats.

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