Of course there was never a kitten.
There were four men,
four dirty, poor-people pea-green walls
and a bed with four corner posts.
There were four windows with blinds
pulled down quickly, blowing out the sun
as if it were a candle. There was one door
that boomed when it closed and clacked
gun-metal hard when its lock turned.
The knot in my stomach told me there never was a kitten
but I asked where it was, anyway. One of the men
set his beer bottle down and slurred I'll show ya, schweets.
On cue, I'm lifted up.
I'm a dandelion santa claus in the wind…
I'm flying lighter than an underbelly feather above the bed.
I'm an inhalation filling the lungs of life itself.
I'm the swimmer sucking in one last big breath
knowing it's a long way to the bottom
though I've never been there before,
and I have to make it all the way down
and all the way back.