Artist: Gaia Barnatan
by Alexandria Liston
A Tabby swaddled in cellophane. Smoldered stiff residue. Thinking if I didn’t eat, I could spend hundreds of dollars on clothes instead. Thinking less body would be good; Thinking less of me and more of you. The train is cold and still. Winding in loops and loops with light above. It is 5:30 in the morning and the bald men with hard hats scatter around me. Sky is dark. There are no birds in this city. Only humans and their scattered remains, consumed through my nose. The cats came wrapped like Christmas gifts with nothing inside. Straight from Paradise. Protecting food like young that never came. Whiskers curled or singed clear off. Like cigarette ash. Hobbling on table legs. I wonder to what extent we have authority over anything. Step back from attempts to control. Where vines would spread if we let them. Cavities could fill on their own. Apples unslice themselves.
Alexandria Liston is an MFA graduate from California College of the Arts. By day, she microwaves heating disks for underweight kittens at the San Francisco SPCA. By night, she works on her memoir that focuses on the complexities of domestic violence, mental illness and addiction. Her previous work can be found at Five:2:One Magazine and A Velvet Giant.