A woman holds a cat meowing to be
let into the cool, green house. Her head
is rain-slicked: a greased globe resting

on a bowed axis. The timer is going off—
I’m opening the microwave and I’m
burned. The radio reports that

yesterday the ocean lost feeling
of its sand-lips and began drooling
blood, fish intestines. Tin pails

collecting soaked hums at a market
where I buy Portuguese oranges,
wrapped tight in bright red tissue.

The umbrella salesman’s catcalls
and the cat’s. I’m floating on pond ice
carrying twenty-pound weights

as the woman lets go, contemplating
gravity with fur, the conversion
of pounds, syllables in meow,

cotton shirts, the economy.
In a nearby greenhouse, we split
seeds, divide our words

into letters and leaves.
Tomorrow’s forecast is the same:
we are expecting blue flames.