Author: Francis X. LaChapelle

Francis X. LaChapelle lives in Anchorage. He received his MA from Stanford University as a National Science Graduate Research Fellow. His poems have appeared in DMQ Review, Blue Skirt Productions and in an forthcoming Anthology by Blue Skirt Press.

Twenty six cats living in deplorable conditions in a Pittsburgh woman’s home were confiscated Wednesday by Pennsylvania SPCA officers

The claws pierced her
new green lycra pants, and she winced
but was used to, and honestly, had come
to not at all dislike, not wholly unlike
how some put Tabasco on eggs or slap
during sex, she thought, though she never
appreciated such severities,
the sting. In reality

she was more worried about a snag,
such a pretty spring shade, and being
new, well at least to her, when they were, barely
worn and cleaned up so well as most
things, people too really, mostly, do when used
briefly or carelessly and maybe even irreverently,
tossed aside. “Come if you want”

she called more in courtesy, of which she was always
especially redolent when addressing them,
than in seriousness since they never came, as they are
not really that kind of friends, “I’m just going
down to get our dinner.” Friends. Well,
friends indeed, and indeed each such a grand personality,
and history, and generous nudges and thoughtless
dalliances and every night the ritual,
circling, the sharing and licking,
the softness the purring
of pillow talk. So she was off

because the best chance was closer to 7:00,
and if he was anything Angel was punctual. Angel.
Such a nice man, even with the tattoos and all
that, even though really, she never knew
what he was saying. But still he would
leave the kitchen cans, there, at the bottom
stair, there while he smoked, waiting
for her, gently, before hefting into the dumpster,
for her to finish of course. Angel, and he really was
not hers, but her darlings’, which
is what a real man is after all,
isn’t he,
and the way he looked and nodded, never a smile,
she thought, though she had no reason
to assume, certainly not, only a sense,
that he had been
thrown once, just a feeling really, out
not unlike her.

Yours was tuna on wheat, I put down a pickle

             to listen–I didn’t know
             hard it was
             to tell how
deep inside
             you found
             for me–
             like everything
that moment took

I (am)

I can cajole
and comfort (I)
oh these words
well do come
but to write orate
is not to be
or do (am)

so Descartes be
damned (nothing)