Take a picture of me with this cat

who is not my cat but my brother’s cat,

and has the nose and eyes of a man.

The balcony floor is littered;

I sweep, leave all doors unchained.

Waiting for your entrance I read old text messages,

which I saved and will continue to save.

My hand is a ham when I hold it to the camera.

My hand is bigger than the cat.

My broom is made from light, the cousin of nothing.

Light is straw or like straw.


When I was a city, I was a horse.
I could cry at anyone’s home movies.
Bruised haircuts, inflatable pools—
I would score them all in B minor.

I saw the end of me on a baseball diamond,
one hand on my crotch, the other in the sky.
I punched the air. It wasn’t sad.
It was triumphant, me dust-covered and dying.

After that, the screens were lit, the reels all rolling.
I rode out along the highways into the stadium night.


One day I was erased
by crows cawing
in the background
on TV.

Are shortalls
my only option
or limestone?

In stories
they never show up
naked. They wear
English dresses.

When the small mammal
first appeared
I named him
I him-ed him
flocked words
and bent him.

Kathy Goodkin's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, RHINO, Redivider, and elsewhere. She is an editor for Grazing Grain Press, an inclusive feminist chapbook publisher, and she leads poetry workshops in a women's correctional facility. Find her online at www.kathygoodkin.com