Prose Poem: Counting

Suburbs. Two girls, leaning right out. Elbows on the windowsill. The sky darkens into silver, the air outside heavy and warm. The lightbulb sun disappears behind a cloud, the summer’s haunted evening now settling comfortably in. A sodden cat watches them from the street below.

Flash. Abi look! Did you see?

Light. Illuminating everything, revealing the world. For a single moment, the evening plunged into daylight – electric and artificial and shockingly bright. During this moment all can be seen: the metallic shine of dozens of parked cars, the confident sparkle of reflection off the distant sea, the golden red bricks of the houses in the suburbs, and the wide blue eyes of the two speechless young girls.

Look. This moment, just this moment. The darkness now gone, the storm a distant memory. Gloom forgotten behind this silver façade.

But… Soon over, back to normal. Just a quick flash, a split second of light, and then embrace darkness’ dreaded return.

Look! cries Amy. There’s a cat! Her finger points outside, raindrops splattering on her arm.

Kitty! coos Abi. Hey what if… It never stops raining? Do kitties live in Venice?

Silly, says Amy. She comes inside, sits on the bed. Abi takes over her place, reaching outside and into the storm.

FLASH. Illuminate. Reveal. Daylight, electric, artificial. Stop time, see everything.

Resume.

Wow, they cry.

Doorway. It’s Mum, frowning at them. Get down from there, she says with a flourish, Abi’s arm still beckoning the storm.

Mum! Abi sings. She hops down. Did you see it?

What?

Flash! She bows, forms a ball, jumps into a star. Her voice echoes like thunder.

Ah, says Mum, folding her arms. Have you been counting?

Counting?

Yeah. It flashes, you count up. One two three four. Until you hear the boom. She sits down on the bed. That’s how far away the storm is.

Flash. Empty streets, unnatural white light. Stop it there. Pause the scene. Two young girls, mouths open wide. See the picture, feel the electricity. Watch from windows, shelter in cars. Heavy black clouds, tiny crystalline raindrops. Roads like oceans.

Just this moment. Not forever.

Play. While paused, brightness and clarity. Now darkness is restored. The girls count their fingers:

One. Two three. Four five six. A low distant groan, crashing and rumbling through them…

The sodden feline quickly scarpers.

Ready for dinner yet?
Release your breaths, hurry downstairs, and…
Continue.

© Aimee S. Green, October 2018

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Poem: Bombs

Run.

Like the bustling of
a city, bursting
at the seams
with life,

two taps feed
the space
with clear, untainted
innocence. Feel the heat
radiate
like joy from the surface
as the space fills, and grows,
and becomes….

Read the rest of the poem on Porridge Magazine‘s website, and be sure to give them lots of love!

© Aimee S. Green, June 2018

Prose Poem: Cat in Rain

This piece has now been republished on katzenworld.co.uk. I’m going to keep it up here for archival purposes, but please go and read it over there – and give them lots of love!


Cat in Rain

Wet soaking. Dance across road water between toes. Cold. I want. Jump up onto wet. Something dry please. Where is dry is anything dry anymore or.

Heavy fur. Soaking.

Why won’t let me in why? Howl and meow and scratch door normally works not tonight. Rub down lots of rubs towel is what I want. Howl some more come on come on. Hop up onto window cry cry cry. Can’t see anyone inside. Dark inside.

Four legs four feet eighteen toes all wet soaking. Shake paws dry wet again. Sky falling in. Left outside during end of world. Off down street puddles rivers oceans. I want. I want. Back onto road. Car coming out splashing up drenching more.

Heavier fur. Soaking.

Hey you yes you going in house you let me in? Give me rub down with towel? Can you dry between my toes and stop sky falling in can you? No you disappeared. Into house. Lights on dryness in. How does it feel shedding wet coat stupid? No care for me why I draw short one.

Somewhere else. This street looks same as last as last as last. Still wet soaking. Where is home now? Not been this way never had reason. Why today why now. Pretend not to care. Keep up appearances.

Drops on whiskers into eyes ouch squint look up. More human hey you wait. Left out in rain too. Also wet soaking. Much we have in common! Now let me in yes. Into warm house yes. Why not open. I want please I want. Don’t talk I don’t know human. Why humans assume I speak human stupid. Rub against you own way of communicating. Let me in let me in let me. Wait. Door still closed why still closed don’t love you either? We’ll die out here you me. Die in rain at end of world. Wet soaking you and me yes. Cry cry cry join in with me cry cry cry.

Door open hey wait. Light in out. Go run into house yes. Meow cry hello I’m here. Yes hello I’m wet soaking nice to meet you. You’ve been waiting for me I see yes. Don’t care about human please I want. That yes that. Good towel. Yes.

© Aimee S. Green, June 2018

Poem: Mornings in Bed with the Cat

for Rascal (who is 15 today)

We both know
I should be up by now.
Instead you’re clamped
between my ankles, violently
washing dirt
from between your toes.
My head is still buried
deep within my pillow,
and all my left ear can hear
is the repetitive clicking
of tooth against claw.

I try to kick you away
but then you move
slowly, sleepily, lovingly,
to my head.

Now you’re rubbing your gums
endlessly against my pinky.
Marking me with your scent,
grooming me with
your sandpaper tongue.

I give you a tired stroke.
You suck my finger, lick
my greasy morning face.
And then you lie your
feline grandeur
on my outstretched arm
and close your brilliant eyes.

I decide
that if you’re happy
staying in bed
this morning, this afternoon,
this evening,
then goodness knows
I am too.

© Aimee S. Green, May 2018

Poem: Sugar

for DC

I remember once, when you
passed us and we summoned you, and
you sat down with us,

the conversation was over
as soon as it was spoken.

And then you gave us each
a single fruit pastille from a tube in your
jacket pocket,

a random, selfless,
meaningless gesture,

gone as soon as it was eaten.

But after you scurried away I
wished I’d let the sweet linger, forbidden
myself to chew,

because once it’s gone, it’s gone,
and no attempts at making myself sick
will ever bring it back.

© Aimee S. Green, May 2018

Poem: You Wanted My Opinion, So Here It Is

Who said about life being perfect?
You did, I’m sure,
when you gave all that to him.

Back when the stars aligned
to create the image of Virgo;
back when ships sailed through the blue of the sky
and mountain ranges were carved out of the clouds.
Barbe à papa. The one constant you promised him
just happened to be what was high
above your heads.

But not even the moisture in the sky lasts forever.
Eventually it will fall and form puddles on the ground,
giving life a layer of the cold and wet
desired only on scalding days.

Barbe à papa; clouds on a stick. Spun sugar
at the carnival, eaten by those with a
sweet tooth. Love isn’t to everyone’s tastes,
but who said about life being perfect?
Put up your umbrella and go back to him.
The sky’s the limit.

© Aimee S. Green, 2012
Originally published in Flux Anthology (Aberystwyth University Press, 2012)

Poem: The First Pen Stroke

I commit to the page
by signing the date
in the top left. Now

I’m bound to write
this, whatever this is
or may become.

The marked page
has more power than
its blank predecessor,

the dated page an
unspoken promise to
capture everything soon,

before today
is gone forever.

© Aimee S. Green, April 2018