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My Roommate’s Cat

cat looking at himself in the mirror

My roommate’s cat is a lumpy pillow.
He is a sack of mushrooms, fur
like cotton balls
soaked in old chicken broth. My stalker,
he follows me to the bathroom. A shadow
behind the blue plastic curtains, a brush
against my leg in the darkened hallway,
a murmur from under the kitchen table.
He squeezes himself into the refrigerator shelves,
spilling tomato sauce like blood
on the linoleum, then lurks behind me
as I clean. I hate his whiny meows,
his de-clawed, velvety front paws,
his yellow glass eyes. I hate him.
But when I lay back on my bed, bare feet
dangling from the edge and see him perched
quietly on my windowsill, tail
swinging lazily back and forth, sun glinting
off his charcoal fur, I realize there’s one thing
we have in common—we both enjoy our solitude
in company.

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