Romeo & her alphabet

by Ivy Xun

I’m sorry. Romeo isn’t cooperating today.
She’s sleeping.
Listen to her drumming heart
sighing up and down my
sticky couch. Watch
her twitching paws flying
in the jalousie-filtered sun-lagoon
of my living room. Here,
tuna-shaped mice hide
in wispy coral yarn.

But alas, her dreams do nothing
to close the Silence between us.

Yes, I’ve tried to wake her up.
No, it hasn’t worked.
Exhibit A: my empty journal
Exhibit B: the hollow space between us
Exhibit C: Romeo’s perpetual snoring

Unbelievable. You should probably leave n—
Watch her sluggish limbs shiver. Watch
them suck in movement. Watch
my pen tango
to the staccato
of her thumping growl.

On my page, her fur salutes,
then bows, from pompous lion
to fuzzy pumpkin, her shadow bends,
then yawns, to my digressions’
willowy flow, lapping
up sweaty words and stamping
them in place with her curious,
quivering nose.

I’m sorry. You’ll have to
sit in silence a little longer.
She’s staying.
You can keep her
when I can let her go.