Those cats, they love that porch. They love the mosquito hum
humid day of it.
They love the firefly wink
little creatures scritching in the garden dark of it.
They love the smell of rain through porch screens, almost as much as a girl loves watching storms crackle over hills, every leaf a sequin flash. She can feel it on her skin, in her bones almost—a pop of atmosphere, the swollen afternoon air drained away, and an evening suddenly
as if the whole world has just become a helium balloon
Those cats, they love that girl face in their fur, warm pressure against prowling dreams, fingertips lightly stroking velvet ears while a door slams, and a TV wails away in the house;
of the house.
Those cats, they know a girl’s dreams are like theirs—half-tame, half-wild—like running up a telephone pole without knowing how to climb down, or loving a comfort that is also a cage, or picking a day to pack a bag
Erin Calabria grew up on the edge of a field in rural Western Massachusetts and currently lives in Magdeburg, Germany. She is a co-founding editor at Empty House Press, which publishes writing about home, place, and memory. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize and was selected as a winner for The Best Small Fictions 2017. You can read more of her work in Milk Candy Review, Longleaf Review, Pithead Chapel, and other places. She tweets @erin_calabria.