He died first. Brother of Harry.

Named after Hemingway.

White, with tan splotches.

Skills: Thieving cheese cubes from the kitchen table. Hiding beneath a cushy lazyboy.

I was afraid of killing him when closing the footrest.

Unlike Harry, Ernest was strong-willed and adventurous. As such, he was a threat to our elder cat(Zuzu). she damaged and ravaged him with hisses and scratches and pee spots. A master of physical and physiological warfare. She defended her territory valiantly, and he, the settler, rebelled valiantly. But as all weak-bodied jacobins eventually do, he struck a crossroads; assimilate or die. And he died. She tore at his will, crushed him and punished him until he was a skinny cat who forgot how to cover his shit. A ragged cat with a diseased liver. A softly breathing cat, numb during injection.

He did not assimilate. He kept to his convictions and brought them to his ashbowl. And she kept the land.

This was enough for a good set of years. Those were full and peaceful years. Two cats in the house, one subject to the other. Then I entered middle school and the kittens arrived. Cocoa and Dale. Sister and Sister. Caramel and Salt.

(continued eventually)

There’s this nagging to be constantly reflective.

And a tinge of fear when I feel a tinge of lax regarding reflection.

And sometimes, burying the fear under something mind-numbing like alcohol, pot, video games, reading, work and porn. These are things that clog a brain.

The fear is a fear of not writing just as much as it is a fear of stagnance. The two are coiled and still.

There is no escaping the fear unless I am around many people and have drunk many drinks. Even the jammed brain still reflects, poorly and disjointedly. Dirty reflection.

Freedom is becoming overloaded like an autistic person at a club. Freedom is epileptic lights in my face and everyone talking at once until all the voices become one disjointed noise and all the smells become one disjointed odor. Dirty freedom. Scary freedom.

And that freedom, that fear, is unhealthy fear.

He is the younger son whose father owns the business and whose brother runs it.

Whose scent is Axe body spray layered over Marb Smooths layered over unwashed flannel.

Wearing heavy hunting caps, even inside.

Trying his best to speak nonchalantly because caring is weak.

He is the younger son whose mother stuffs secret checks in his coat during hugs

And, who only hugs his mother and drunk girls.

Smoking weed in the morning because the sun is blinding and the alarm is blaring

Imitating Kendrick Lamar in his notebook while the professor talks of Consumerism

He is the younger son who has not aged in over ten years

He is the younger son who is outraged by injustice but cannot name it

He is the younger son whose mother calls him every afternoon.

He is the younger son whose father owns the business and whose brother runs it.

 

Because she knows us intrinsically, the way a baby knows to wail and a farmer knows to harvest. Her gaze roams over our oceans and our mountains and our deserts and plains. And from there zones in further. She sees the hydron collider and all its buzzing and droning and the men and women in white and goggles with prominent wrinkles between their eyebrows and across their cheeks; and she sees all the windmills scattered through various plains, slowly rotating, towering as giants above acres and cows and horses and tractors; and she saw Aristotle hold his fists to the horizon, measuring the zenith and she saw him proclaim the spherical perfection of heaven; And she saw the spear imbed into the giraffe, saw it shudder and stumble as poison circles about, saw the skinny and healthy men trotting on the balls of their feet towards the beast, keeping a distance enough but not a distance too far. She saw them skin and chop the carcass and carry it to the women and children, she saw them proclaim the hunt was poor as the band slurped down fat and munched on berries.

Because she watches us through heavy eyelids, expression never changing, only growing more plump and red.

The autistic baby

Not her only baby

But the only autistic one

Beef ramen broth and Lady Grey tea are the same shade of brown.
There was a seatbelt on the bus, very taut.
I learned how to properly perform squats by sticking my ass out.
A man named Tre fist bumped me, he has warm knuckles.
My Anthropology professor made eye contact with me about six times during lecture.
I had a conversation on the bus, we spoke in mumbled and efficient utterances; “thimstop” “frshr.”

Staring at a shattered television screen.

Just staring.

There’s the iron coils.

And the cracked lamp.

And the melted plastic

All the guts.

I keep sniffing and sneezing.

 

This is an old apartment, an old socket, the wires are worn and the paint is lead

And that was an old TV, with a VHS attachment and two antennae sticking up

 

My skin stops jumping

When I open all the windows

And unplug the smoke detector

And sit down, again.

Like a rabid devil

Snarling and snapping

Behind barred windows

fetal