If You Know Who’s Calling

Why play dumb? If I could
drink, you know
I would. I would,
I would. Never coy,
I might get there
yet. To be protected
by a tall man, aging orange
cat, I would give
myself away. This long
narrow bed is just
for naps. I pretend
to be sleeping—too shy
to pretend
to be dead.

Day 2,580

Residue cadence over steel,
chilled, is a drink
she would sip 

on cold nights to remind
him how she could look
when not trying 

to be so permanent. The seep
continues beneath
frozen surfaces—silently.

Day 1,096

She collects all the fear
she has gathered for 21 years,
puts it in a jar and seals it tight,
drops the jar into
the drink. Without it,
her days begin to count.