They Come To Me At Night

by kate hill cantrill

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They Come To Me At Night


They come to me at night. I have to cash my check; I see their bodies next to yours; I see the rent is due; I see you holding them inside your arms.

I'm out of stamps. I think of how you wanted me at every moment when we met—outside a tom cat screams into the window—as I wanted you; I hate to think you wanted them, their skinny bodies, whatever minds. I smell the spray; my roommate died but before she did she said the cats would come; I know you keep in touch with them; I wonder what they say to you and how you speak to them of me.

I can't forget to pay the gas bill. Do they talk to you as if they know something more of you than me? I know something but not everything not nothing from those years you hardly talk about; that smell will stain my place and then more cats will come; I know you burned yourself; I know you brought to bed a lot of girls; I know I should to be concerned about the scars but they don't come to me at night.

My roommate died on the West End Highway; it was awful and she keeps getting bills sent from the hospital although she's dead. The ones you say were toxic I assume you mean real sexual and then they come to me at night; I see their sweated bodies wrapped with yours.

I have an appointment set for the day after next; you said you thought you might be firing blanks and then I feel a kick into my chest—two kicks, three, seven at least—my cat is going crazy at the stinky tom outside the window and the birds are waking, screaming: I'm not dead! You say you want my babies but well, just no, not now, just no not yet.

They come to me at night; I'm more beautiful I know you love me; my roommate's family threw her things out in the trash and left me with her furniture I didn't want; you helped me deal with all of that; I need some envelopes as well; I'll get them when I get the stamps; you are a Nine One One Man for all the planet, for all the women you once held in bed and said those things you say to me only this I know—only this I think I know—that we will last.

The birds make sleep prohibitive; the tom cat stink sits on my tongue; in just two days I'll start to bleed; I know you love me; there's no comparing still they come to me at night, at nights like this that turn to mornings when I turn to you and curse the birds—I curse the birds!—the ones who made it through this night; they made it through this God-long night.