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Catgirl and Other DetailsAt four years old, I am a cat. I wear my ears day and night. They are perky and cardboard. Sometimes I also wear a tail and whiskers. But not today. I meow and walk on my knees. But not today. I don't understand purring yet.The teacher is an older, stout, frowny woman with cropped gray hair and lines around her mouth. She says garbazh because it makes her sound French (or so she jokes, perhaps, I cannot tell at this time) and once advised us to hold our scissors inward when we run with them, so as to stab ourselves instead of others in the event of a collision. She runs snack-time on a strict capitalist system the big kids always get there first, but You Get What You Get. It's her cross-armed singsong chant. Orange slices, hot dogs, dirt in a cup, nothing. You Get What You Get.I'm not a cat anymore today. The teacher told me that I have to be myself, and I'm not sure what that is, but I guess it's not a cat.
Stick Your Head In GravyI'm still cute with my hair pulled back in a frizzy halo, white wool and jeans and little sneakers. I climb up on top of the bookshelf to show off and feel deeply ashamed when someone figures me out. I decide not to talk for the rest of the day.I cried in the morning when they dropped me off, although I'm no longer sure why. When they take us to see the animals, I cling to my snotty tissue, trying to keep the tears running as long as I can stand. It's a struggle not to giggle and sacrifice self-pity when a sheep eats the nasty rag right out of my hands.The turkey is a formidable beast, its proud chest puffed and its ugly head jutting with dumb curiosity as it waddles my way. Don't Stick Your Finger In The Turkey Cage, Megan! The teacher reprimands my friend, and I know right away that I have to do it. I tentatively poke a tender finger toward the fat bird. It pecks, as is its nature, and I cry, as is mine.
The GiftYou bought me a heart-- a little thing carved from woodthat I later lostat the festival of lights.When I found it, it had drowned.
Flux (Rewrite)His eye is a pale eggwith a gleaming black yolk whole, perfect and centered.It does not dart aboutas most eyes do but staressideways, straight off the sideof his head.Little waves break overhis feet. They susurrateamongst themselves in ahusky timbre, sometimeschoosing to stay behinda while in the nettingof his toes.In a frozen moment("Never again," says time,and nature sighs), he stands,unseeing, unseeking,a statue silhouettegiving away nothingof his world.Suddenly a scream of laughtera flit of the eyea flurry of feathersand flight!Jubilant child on the beach andwild-eyed pelican in the sky.