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When I’m a cat, I tiptoe across the room wedged between our spare lives. Grey sand covers the floor. I sniff a lapse in scent open my mouth but swallow nothing, not even what’s next to you.
My turtle life drags me
toward the meromictic lake dangling in front of
everything I cannot hold.
You return but keep me waiting. If you must, drink first—then leave again. I will pause
near any wrinkle of water.
As a vole, I dig
tunnels the length of
sound from ear to
underworld. I hear stones
crack. My small voice
whistles: you are safe.
Your laugh is a thousand
seeds, but still your mind’s listening.
Jean enG

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