Seven

Jamal dissolved time.

He watched

a game-replay all evening; watching for

that one mistake

that got the other side down!

The sound of the replay on his DVR

drowned the density of light

in his living room.

His window drapes

left the storm – outside

where Toby was drinking the taste of rain.

Out of any expectations.

During the afternoon,

Jamal was watching with casual interest. 

How the cat was chasing something around

Sharon’s shrub.

The cat – turned

into a momentary tyrant,

alert and interested,

Crouched and darted, pawed something

and searched.

“Cats do not have any regrets

even when nothing is there to catch.”

Every time something moved inside

the shrub –

(Jamal couldn’t tell what was moving from this far)

The cat moved.

“Cats are almost like fossils when they are pretending.

You have to figure them out.”

Nights forced Jamal to watch his DVR.

Jamal waited for that moment –

so that he

could taste his victory scream

once again.

The taste of someone winning makes

him a fan.

Ivy wasn’t happy that day.

She did not expect a sink- load of dishes

when she got back home.

Jamal does cook well

but leaves the aftermath- a stampede of

storm in the sink,

Food and leftovers fossilized.

And,

“Why wasn’t the cat litter in its place?”

Ivy was just beginning something.

Jamal remembered

something and left the room. 

How will you describe the taste of winning to Ivy?

The fossil, like Jamal’s cat

does not have anything to explain.

Everyone explains the fossil

Study rocks, guess stories.

Cats may not be looking but they are looking

And

They are pretending not to see.

Perfect pretenders of bliss even when Ivy stomps around.

It took a few days after that storm. Toby sculpted out a tyrannosaur.

Jamal’s cat

continued to pretend – not showing interest.

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