My cat eyes my rump while I rub myself on the carpet.
I can feel you staring, I say to my cat.
My cat rolls its eyes. My cat is aware.
Mother doesn’t know yet that I’m a girl who holds close her cat. Nor that I am no petite four. No small cake, cup-sized. Only my cat can tell what kind of girl I am. When I hold close my cat. When I say, Cat.
The girls of the cul-de-sac peer out their blinds. I stand by the window. Now my cat has stuck out its tongue. Are you slavering for a small girl’s stick-and-poke, my cat? Poor cat.
Cat, murmur all the girls from the slats.
The mothers, impatient, clank cutlery on bridal porcelain and soap the dishes with sponges so naked.
While up in my room, carpet pressing my knees, my cat is rubbing itself on my godseye tattoo. The black hatching unhinges. Oh! How good that feels! From the eyes of my cat pour a river of beetles. The bugs run the length of my small girl arms. And the tattoo unravels into spools of cheap yarn. And out pops god. So sticky is she.
Clean out your urethra, tiny shit god says to my cat.
My cat rolls its eyes. My cat is aware.
Tiny shit god crawls under my rump and sticks her head up my asshole.
Oh! I cry.
So full am I!
Now this is clean, she yowls; she spits. Her paw paw petting my straining flesh.
I asked a cul-de-sac girl to do me in, and she in turn gave me my tat. She did it with a sewing needle, her father’s fountain pen. Wove me a godseye. The cul-de-sac girl lapped at the blood pearls. Supermoon alight. The pain had been exquisite.
Dirty child! Dirty child! From the cradle a blight! said my mother.
Tiny shit god dancing in my thigh’s inked web.
/// /// /
Mother, eat my chicken? I’m not hungry tonight.
/// /// //
I hold close my cat.
I can hear the cul-de-sac girls search the whole street for us. The cul-de-sac girls, with their feline eyes. A black midnight swing set beetle sheen. Fish a-leaping in tanks aquamarine. Small white paws, loose and languid: will you scoop out to torture those fish pets, my cat? Will you pour all your beetles down loose cotton panties?
I hold close my cat. What else can I do?
Your mouth pried open by my tiny fingers, your toothy jaw now forced to reveal a treasure of oil, a treasure of teeth, a treasure of saliva wine. How holy my cat! Even tiny shit god agrees.
Child, calls Mother, your string beans grow cold.
Mother, I call, I’ve saved them for you.
/// /// ///
These insidious girls! How they cluster, they climb! On the bus, on the street, knees peering like eyes from beneath their school pleats! Worship of us is both public and private: we interpret each look as a bow at our feet.
/// /// /// /
There is talk of draining the petals of their color! There is talk of stuffing, taking, kneeling, and sucking! There is vocabulary: plaything, Pollyanna, pleasure! Justine! Juliette! The mothers, insistent, call curfew! The mothers set out the rosaries, the ladles! Cats are banned, not to be held! Though they stick soft snouts in the gap between the floor and the door, though they yowl and they scratch! We are never to surrender to their late night meowing! We are the washers of dishes! We are the eaters of proper amounts! We are the cupcakes, the petite fours, the cream!
/// /// /// //
All through the carpeted suburban house, as secret a thing as a small twisted mouse: girls come inside, bleeding within. Girls come in. Bleeding within. Girls with feline eyes. They enter my bedroom. Cat, say the girls. Their languid bodies akimbo. Beetles scuttling free from such sockets. Girl tongues all suck, all slaver, all slurp: to want for a drop of wine. To want for a drop of wine! The swing set’s a fussy sibling from such a distance. Someone sit on that swing set’s face. My cat in my arms, my cat now a cradle. My cat on the floor, my flank to its face, my godseye gushing a river of milk. Tiny shit god beside herself. My cat a kind of cup. Can you hold my wine, my sweet feline? My cat is desirous. My mother draws a dryer, plugs it in, presses click: my mother dries her plush that puffs between her thighs. And from across the neighborhood come all the girls. Girls come crawling into my cradle to hold close my desirous cat. Cat! Cat! Chosen cat! Tiny shit god claps her hands inside my asshole, I bend like the stem of a petaled plant. Cat twitches tail, purges its beetles. Cat drools the wine; come, cup small girl hands. Girls drink their fill, their dinner of cat. And Mother downstairs. She is so sad with her string bean tagine. Tiny shit god opens wide, shows her teeth. I hiss. I burn. My hand on the thigh of a cul-de-sac girl, my eyes on the beetles bulging her bloomers. Such writhing. Such juice. Feline bodies, feline tongues, all grown up numb with cat wine. The slaver of my tongue. Drunk on rank cul-de-sac down. To eat. To eat. To eat. Apex of feasting. Apex of feline feasting this night. My cat yowls arches flattens and bites. My cat, blessed cat, my cat is aware.
/// /// /// ///
Cul-de-sac girls pour out my window. Exodus of fur.
/// /// /// /// /
That’s a good cat.
Bridget Brewer is a writer, teacher, and performer living in between Austin, Mexico City, and nowhere at all. Her work can be found at www.bridget-brewer06.com.