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The black cat is always scratching
behind his ears, always slinking off

to piss in some hidden corner
of the guest room. It is both unkind

and self-congratulatory of me to feel
sympathy for people who don’t

possess a sense of humor. Where
the hell do I get off, anyway?

Admitting something hardly ever
makes it better. This is something

children’s shows really gloss over.
What privilege I live in, swinging last night

on Rachel’s back porch swing, telling her,
It looks like one of those home shows came
and did this to your backyard while you stayed
in a hotel and worried about what they
were doing. The cabana, the fire pit,
the outdoor couches. If I could take all

the longing inside me for God and make
a backyard landscaping project

out of it, I could live a different life
and it wouldn’t cost a thing, right?

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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