Shedding Season

Not only will there be a carpet
in the living room, but also in the hallway
and kitchen, my sister said, the softer timbres
of her voice drawn out in an easy laugh.
Our cat was stooped next to us on the couch,
and snapped upward to fix her paws
to the windowsill. She honed in on her reflection
in the glass, meowing into it. Giving it a pep talk.
In the summer, our cat leaves behind wisps of herself
the way an aging mother leaves a will. She worries
what might happen to us when she’s gone. She senses
the anarchy after our last cat, the lawless silence,
the second tongue of mourning that curled
in our mouths and corked our speech.
Sometimes, she disappears into my bedroom
and tentatively sniffs where our last cat peed.
This is how they communicate with each other:
leave something behind long enough
and it will last forever.

Jenna Nesky is an autistic, Jewish, bisexual teen writer and poet. She is in tenth grade at Carver Center for Arts and Technology in the literary prime. From Maryland, she turns sixteen this year.

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