by Scott-Patrick Mitchell
Two Black Cats
Night does not know where her shore ends and
their fur begins. In the dark, one cat could
easily stand in for the other. Street light pours
invented sun into pavement. Bushes brim with
wing and insect purr. One cat calls to the other
as if a bird is caught in its throat: affectionate
shorthand. A nest of rubbing. Kerb crests the
edge of street as if a dune. Shard of broken
taillight, a sea rose. The other cat answers with
a long stretch: night envies feline’s starless
arch, how it will never dissolve into day. A
walker-by can feel the touch of four green
moons watching them. The cold regards
everything. Movement bells as if Christmas,
coming early. They make a playground out of
dark, chase each other until the sun colours the
Ecologies & Eulogies
Elsewhere, other ecologies are collapsing. A koala clings
to the top of a burnt blue-gum, searching for leaf and kin,
her paws pink, blistering. In the artery of the Murray-
Darling, cod and carp bloat as the current chokes for
oxygen. Across two hot days, flying foxes amass grave. In
an outcrop, a black-flanked rock wallaby gathers her
offspring near: wind whimpers scent of surveyor.
Serenade for end days: my mother’s fever rambles from
her throat. She tells me how every wrinkle across her body
is a lineage, endangered or extinct. How, as a child, she
wanted to make the world into an Ark. But the only wood
she could craft was a coffin she called a home. Afloat on
elegy, she struggles for breath. Elsewhere, other eulogies
are being carved into earth and bone.
Scott-Patrick Mitchell (SPM) is a non-binary poet who lives as a guest on Whadjuk Noongar Land. In 2019, they won MPU’s Martin Downey Urban Realist Poetry Award. SPM was recently shortlisted for the 2020 and 2021 Red Room Poetry Fellowship. SPM’s debut collection, Clean, will be released early 2022.
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Photo used under Creative Commons from John Donges