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sore throat :: katie peterson

by on January 3, 2015

Sick in bed with a sore throat,
I can’t get out of my mind
the image of the cat
harpsichord from the eighteenth century,
soothing a prince with laughter.
It worked like this: the tails of them attached
to the strings of the instrument
were pulled by different notes, and the difference
between the way the cats
cried was music.
A shadow is only a shape.
Which is why certain individuals
can put their hands in light
and make them birds, can say in shadow
what they can’t in light.
The tiny branches of the hedge
in the yard that separates
my house from the next
look like the rib bones of a bird
when the sun hits lunch.
The world, they say, is best for a nest
but no good for a flying place.
Come back, I say to my dead,
and the branches don’t even graze
the window, when I eat it hurts.

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