Poverty sits in the center
of her cage; paws kneading,
claws scratching the barren concrete.
Her tail twitches pensively.

Her eyes are the moldy green
of a half starved cat
and her teeth are as crooked
as the banker’s. She has feathers
down her spine,

vibrant and stiff in any weather like stray
pieces of anti-matter.
She moves toward the bars and
like a wolf, lays her ears back
against her bald skull.

She does not growl.
She does not hiss.
She purrs with profound contentment.
It is the contentment of continual existence
(whether it be) in a cage or on a deserted beach.

Whether she has a grand audience or
the meager laughter of crows outside her cage.
With a simple calculation she nods her head
in my direction and I want to eat her.


Jessica F Otto is currently in Arkansas with her husband and many many cats and waiting to move into a lovely patch of marshland.  She has had fiction previously published in Six Sentences and tweets published in Seedpodpub and Escarp; forthcoming in PicFic and 7x20.

Other works by Jessica F Otto

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