Sometimes I think there four of us
making a life inside this sweet gray house.
Add the felines,
we make a quirky octad.
There is the me who is I
poet, I mom, I carer for everything
and everyone who moves
within this circle––
the him and her, the furniture
which claims no gender please,
no polish, just a cleanish
dry cloth and a bit of appreciation,
the felines who purr and hiss
their love and judgement
direct and pure,
the glassware that tells me daily
how it desires to be placed
within the cabinet.
There is the he, who is he
who shoulders that which I cannot,
who is he who knocked on my heart
and wouldn’t leave
even when I didn’t open the door.
He who loves
the her and me.
He who is so funny
behind the stray F word
and under all that huff.
There is the she that needs
so much, so often, the she
that tears things apart-–
not to destroy, but rather to
discover what’s inside,
the she who cannot be left
alone, who can tell you exactly
the date in 2001
when that mean teacher dragged her
and screamed at her so loud,
so loud it burned her ears and forever
branded such a sound as red fire screaming.
The fourth is Agita, who is the shot of speed
startling her brain into flight,
who pushes my she down a spiral stair
and I can only follow.
Agita inserts herself into everything,
turns the stakes to high,
mars even a calm beach vacation
with worry, obsession, and fear.
Some say autism and Agita are married.
but I’ll never stop hoping
she leaves without looking back,
leaves without scarring,
leaves and never, ever returns.