Cathexis Northwest Press
The Cat’s Meow; The Ones I Haven’t Truly Loved
By: Phoebe Greer
The Cat’s Meow
You live to desire, remember?
Curious the orange deaf night, where sunlight dies
Your dog dreams that make you itch and squirm, at least you are together, in one pile.
Don’t worry sweeties you will wake again, decadently dunking fresh shrimp in tomato sauce,
While I am observing Newton's Law and making my own.
Today I wondered, why would you compare yourself to a donkey in a herd of horses?
Why have you closed all the doors? What is dessert?
Remember that the sun travels its consistent course,
May it forever be predicted to come again,
walking across water,
captured in paintings.
I told the rooster to put his socks on again
The galaxy’s gold to stream into your sleeping bodies.
For your human blood, re-entry red, to help you rise again,
you pale astronauts, who never brush your curly hairs.
I will ask nicely that your olive fingertips pierce the can.
May they open it, open again in the morning
or I will use my voice.
The Ones I Haven’t Truly Loved
Remember how I held
onto the headboard
The holes I’d peer
Into and kiss
Your purple balls wrinkled
Smelling like coffee
Ask you to swallow
The running water
The smell of roses
A sense of annihilation
How much like a pink
Pillow, I used you
Hang on my thighs
I know you need to
Phoebe Greer is a secular Jewish writer living in New York, NY. While attending LIU Global, Phoebe earned a BA in Global Studies and Creative Writing. Phoebe was a finalist for a Brooklyn Poets fellowship, has read at the Poetry Project and been published in their online journal, The Recluse.
"Both poems were written in the spring of 2020. In these months I spent significant time outside walking by myself. I paid attention to all the natural occurring colors. I was really delighted by them! I looked around and also, somehow past my surroundings. Old memories came to me. The poem, 'The One’s I Haven’t Truly Loved,' came together like picking lines or weeds from a field. On my walks I would stop and pick a wild flower bouquet from the side of the road. Roses aren’t my favorite flower. Honestly, I think they are a little cheesy. Roses in a romantic atmosphere especially (don’t get me started on those shriveled carnations!). But there was a moment when I walked outside and passed a rose bush, stuck my nose in and well - enough said!
I really want to write a poem (or god forbid: book) personifying my cat, named Chickens. In 'The Cat’s Meow', I wanted to have a conversation with her and I actually tried a couple times. I wanted HER to write the poem. But I think I went about it wrong. I went to Chickens a couple times and looked into her eyes, trying to hear her talk or find sentences from her expression. I made prolonged eye contact. This is threatening to cats I learned! I talk to her out loud all the time, little sayings you know, “Hey pumpkin, how ya doin my fuzzy bunny, how's my cinnamon roll”. I have all kinds of disgusting “pet” names for her but I think what's reflected in the poem is that she IS responding."