What the Cat Taught Me

by Sharon Chmielarz

Each odor is an announcement,

small or large. None have eyes.

All resemble the bodies they came from.

Some live forever, like dried fungus

under bark. Some pop up before your

feet, toadstool style. If some come


running at you like a big family

of huggers, hightail it out of there.

Reserve yourself for one alone


maybe. Slip away from whose-

soever’s tail curls over your eyes.

Wake easy. Shake the hind leg first

from its love for the pillow’s brink.