At death she went her own way / she hoped her beloved would trail her. Clip her about the gangly ankles.
A girl with the body of a cat / a cat with the body of a girl. To draw from / a hex / bristling. Gnawed forelimbs. Busted.
“You are my daughter, my long lost daughter, released with the wolfhounds.”
The wind pulls open your coattails, lifts fur, weaves in the tufts. I want to mark a spot there. I hold in my lungs
and the drawstrings pull up a bridge in me. A scent that settles on tongues, a breath caught in the phial
of my throat.
A cat is felled by a car’s tire, felled and then left there. We all gag, our own breaths felled by the sick cat. Its entrails slicken the asphalt,
On highways you mustn’t look back. No point.
The car has kicked in the cat’s guts and no one is drawn to arrange it, no one to truss up its paws. The soft part
has cleft there. What’s left is pooling on the shoulder.
Knelt beside the beast, I extend my palm, hovering. I palmed the stiff points of the bristles, murmuring prayers.
Our coats caught in the headlights, glowing. My eyelets are tipped now in blood, traveling my thigh in absorption.
I gave the dead thing my own name to vex it. Barbarous,
I struck at it.
I struck just as clocks strike, knocking it
Into a trance. I submitted its body
For binding. It was pleased to be bandaged:
A tumult. Dropped stitch.
Its bells / set off / in the distance.
10 Questions with Leslie Patron
1. What is the meaning of this?
Goodness, you’re asking the wrong girl. My answer to this question would be very bleak.
2. Who do you think you are?
3. On whose authority?
4. What were you thinking?
Just now I was thinking about what it might feel like if all 28 of my teeth were eye teeth. Would I tear into food more readily? How would it feel to run my tongue over them with my lips parted?
5. Where would you get an idea like that?
6. Why on earth?
Don’t make me get all mystical!
7. Since when?
1981, give or take.
8. You and whose army?
Ooh, an army of unseen visitants.
9. Did it ever occur to you?
My sources say no.
10. How do you sleep at night?
Recently I had a dream that I was crouching over a carcass and eating ropes of wet flesh at a crime scene. The crime scene was on the blacktop of a middle school near my childhood home. When I woke the next morning, I had my period.
Leslie Patron recently moved back to the Bay Area after several years in Providence, RI. Her recent writings have appeared or are forthcoming in Dewclaw, Harp & Altar, La Petite Zine, With + Stand, OCHO, and Parthenon West Review. Currently she is at work on her second unpublished YA novel. She blogs here: http://forgottenya.tumblr.com/.