3 poems, by Kristina Carpenter

The Cat at Night

A cat on my foot, purring,
sleek and black as night.
In a cavernous room
light peeks through windows
lighting to be seen.
another sleepless tomorrow
The bed stirs with the cat,
sitting, licking, pacing
in circles over and over until
she finds the right place—
not too lumpy or too flat
on the blanket,
but near enough to my foot that
restless legs can’t-must move-not-move
I can feel the vibrations of her purr.
She is awake.
I am awake.
a cat’s smile, soft thrum
Sleeping, dozing, waiting
for sleep, for day,
for warmth against the winter chill—
We wait and the cat purrs.

A Day in the Office

Burning eyes and itching knees
distract as I stare at the wide, glowing screen,
a jumbling swirl of colorful light that pulls
and repels all at once. Voices beckon
me to other things, another task, left
undone. Mounting piles—papers, forms,
and someone’s dirty napkin—
creep across my desk in a slow ooze
like some poorly made creature in a corny horror.
Legs stretch and eyes ease
while I shuffle papers and speak
to impatient people, shuffling themselves
back and forth on the other side
of a plastic screen. Finally finished,
turn around—my desk is empty, just the
napkin left. Where have all my papers gone?

Day-Blind Stars

We see by the light of the sun,
see colors, see trees and birds and cars.
But not the stars,
Can you see them
any more than they see you?
They are blind, asleep until the moon
awakens them for just a few short hours
before they fade,
Would it be so different to
be a star, wrapped in light instead of mortal flesh?
Clustered together in pointillistic
pattern, close at a glance though light-years
Can you bridge the space
between the far-flung, blinded stars?
Stretch out your hand, graze the kiln-hot surface,
lend a little of your sight,
your sight that sees
most things.
We see by the light of the sun—
colors and cities, ourselves distorted,
but not others.
Are we blind?

Kristina Carpenter has an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University. When she can get her cats off her keyboard, Kristina writes fiction and poetry, and her work has appeared in Chaotic Merge and Bloom, among others. In her free time (when she has it), she bikes and blogs about dragons. You can visit her blog at pensanddragons.wordpress.com.