Maria Castro Dominguez (Western Voices 2020)

Exclusive: Western Voices, 2020: Edited by Scott Thomas Outlar
Bio: Maria Castro Dominguez is the author of A Face in The Crowd, her 2016 Erbacce-press prize winning collection. Winner of the third prize in Brittle Star’s Poetry Competition 2018, finalist in the 2019 Stephen A DiBiase Poetry contest, her poems have appeared in Orbis, Obsessed With Pipework, Sarvasti, Apogee, The Long-Islander Huntington Journal NY, Popshot and London Grip.

Wild Language
If my cat spoke I know he would tell me to get up at 3 a.m.
move to the edge of the bed and let him sleep where I am sleeping.

And when the sun comes warm, he’d tell me to pad to the kitchen
fill his bowl with cold water, feasting him on caviar and prawns.

He would say stay here where he could keep his marble gaze glued to me.
But what he shows me is to speak with my eyes, to listen to his silences

and the subtle twitches of his whiskers, to understand what it’s like
to take in the whole world from the floor or up a tree.

To see the night, the fragile float of mosquitoes’ blood-licked mandibles;
to hear ants hauling crumbs, clashing chitins and grooming their antennae.

To feel the crack of lungs and arrhythmic dips
of those who love and don’t know.

And he shows me –as if I don’t already know-
a cat doesn’t ever belong to anyone.

Truth is…
a circle
a hole behind the cupboard
unshuttered eyes
the sun blazing through shadow.

I find a moth tear-drinking
from a leaking pipe
as the wind blows open a window,
sucks a glass bottle to the floor.

Behind the curtain I watch
a car — not mine — arrive next door
and I stand on a chair

I haven’t said I love you enough
That’s not true —
I said it to a baby for three years.

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