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Summer/Fall 2019



by Issa M. Lewis


The cat meows–chirps, really–

for his breakfast.  I’m watching

the clock and considering the definition

of late.  My eight-year-old feeds the cat

before feeding himself, unlike on airplanes

where you fix your own air mask first,

because what good are you to anyone

if you can’t breathe.


Late is when the clock’s hands

are no longer a metaphor, I decide,

so I read the news on my phone.

The cat eats noisily.  Sometimes he growls

when he’s happy.  I take this to mean

that journalism is dead, since our own eyes

can’t tell a gun from a phone,

or whether vaccines cause autism,

or whether the earth is flat.


A meteor lands on our breakfast table.

It’s small, so no one minds.  The cat

growls his approval.  My son, who loves science,

collects it for show and tell,

leaving behind a tiny scorch.  I google

how to get burn marks out of finished wood.



[Check out Issa M. Lewis's back porch advice]