Statement of Record

Three Poems by Laura Cronk

T

LIKE A CAT

You want a dog
but you are like a cat,
though you hate cats,
which is a very cat-like
position. I want a cat
but you’re allergic
so we’ll get a dog
who will be like me.
Besides, I realize that,
having you, I already
have a cat. You have
intense fixations, like
a cat. Though you’re
tall and strong, you walk
lightly on the balls
of your feet, like a cat.
You’re good at
everything you ever
try to do. In your
reticence you’d rather
not be written about or
analyzed, like a cat.
But you are very good
to look at, to study,
in your many moods
and attitudes, like a cat.
And your affection
is sudden and real,
radiating mystery
and heat beside me,
like a cat.

ON CHOOSING YOU

You brought love letters from other loves,
records of overdraft, furniture found on
the street. You brought unsophisticated
drawings you made in charcoal and that
wasn’t enough. You brought pages of
your musings, recordings of your voice.
You realized your mistake and brought
bundles of sheets washed and folded tight,
platters of roast chicken, hand creams,
sweets. You sang and your voice gave out.
You started a fight. You caught my eye
while you were looking mournful. Late
at night, after walking together, you gave me
a single photo of you in the future, very old.
You dreamt you were a fish and told me
about it and I could see it all so clearly.

TO MY TWENTIES

Stop what you’re doing
and come with me. We’ll
walk out into the wild
cold, you in your pink
sequined shell from the
consignment shop –
you can have my coat.
Let’s be out together
in the world, the wind
beating against us, the
sidewalks cracking with
ice. Though you shrink
from the cold, my twenties,
you’re still lustrous, still
throwing off heat. We’ll
walk past the schizophrenic
piano player and the junk
dealer poet, there are bad
boyfriends around every
bend, but we’re together
now and we don’t have
to stop. We’ll go back
to my apartment and
open the door and the
kids’ faces will pop
with happiness. They’ll
run toward us, ram their
heads into our stomachs,
so eager to be held.
It’s not the kind of
greeting you’re used to.
After dinner I’ll get you
a cab, my twenties,
but you’ll take the shape
of a great gray bird
and fly away.

About the author

Laura Cronk is the author of Having Been an Accomplice from Persea Books. She coordinates programs for writers at The New School in Manhattan and is the poetry editor for The Inquisitive Eater: New School Food.

Statement of Record