Cat and I

Cat and I sitting on a bridge. The sun on our backs. The smell of oil from the railway ties. The
mosquitoes. The river a way down there quiet. Like a TV with the mute on. Whitecaps swirl
around the rocks. Silent.

Our hip bones touching.

Tap tap tap.

Our feet dangling.

Her tank-top flapping.

She tosses the pebbles in her hands down into the river. They fall like buttons, pushed about by
the breeze on the way down, and land in the water. Plunk, plunk, plunk.

Only we don’t hear them. They’re too small, and we are too high.

“Well,” says Cat.
“Well”, I say, picking out the slivers in my hand.

Cat and I listening to the stereo in my mom’s cream ’67 Valiant. Parked in the driveway while
my mom is out. One of those spongey rainy hot days when the air is like big steamy lung and
you walk around in damp shorts that smell because they haven’t been washed in days. Listening
to her Guns and Roses tape. She gives me some gum and smiles. I take it and lean over and our
noses bump.

We nudge noses.

Our legs touch, skin against skin running from the knee up the thigh.

I can still taste the cigarette in her mouth.

Cat and I backing out of her driveway her dad chasing us barefoot down the street. Stopping at
the D&D to buy ice cream. Sitting in our shorts outside on the steps, sun beating down on us, ice
cream dripping on the concrete. Cat licking my ear. Her arm around my waist, her little hand up
under my shirt, pinching my nipple. Looking up at the joggers and mommies with strollers as
they pass us.

My head ringing.

My mouth dry.

The ice cream melting down my hand.

Cat and I in that little air b n b in Spain, lying in bed, fucking like crazy, the doors to the veranda
swung open, the clank of the trains and the shouts of kids playing soccer in the piazza below.
Rolling around in the sheets and falling off the bed, raw and tethered together, in and out of the
shower, starving, fucking starving. Smoking and that crazy dream of her walking out on me and
down out through the piazza while I watch her from the balcony.

Her tits jiggle as she walks down the steps to the piazza.

What a dream.

A haunted dream.

Hemingway patrolling the piazza with a shotgun in one hand and a typewriter in the other.
Marshaling everyone into two lines, pushing the gun into Cat’s back, marching her between the
two lines while they flail her with sticks and bottles and ropes, till she crawls to the end, still
naked, and they pick her up and throw her over the end of the piazza, down into the canal.


The sound of her hitting the concrete below.

A hollow, dull sound that echoes around the piazza.

I wake up drenched, like I’d been drinking heaps of wine, hair dripping, dick sore, and hungry. I
look over and see her there and touch her and kiss her neck. Get my phone out and take a photo
of us there in the moonlight. Reach under the sheets and wrap my hand around her waist, and
slowly slide it down between her legs. Just to forget, I say.

Her hair tangled in my face.

Breathe it in.

Scratches the back of my throat as I cum.

Cat and I asked to join that American couple on their tour of the museum. Around the corner we
walk and smoke and they pay our admission and it’s so early there are only a few people here
and there. Click click click our steps as we walk the near empty halls. And then the man puts his
arm around Cat and she smiles and they disappear behind a corner and when I come around
they’re kissing and the woman leans on me from behind.

Starts to kiss my neck.

I take Cat’s hand.

“Come on Cat”, I growl.

I pull her away and we trip and fall over the ropes of a display and the whole thing comes
crashing down so security comes running and escorts us out and we’re back outside walking
back into the hotel, not touching, not talking.

We get to the piazza and she walks in front of me towards the lobby and I look down into the
canal and then back at the piazza to watch Cat disappear in the crowd.

Up in the room Cat is looking down. She maybe sees him too. Hemingway’s ghost. Haunting us.
Found us here. Innocent as we thought we were. Running with our stolen credit cards and Cat’s
savings and our smart phones.

The sun setting.

The night falling.

The air bending into waves of darkness.

Still we’re looking for what we came for. Cat’s home town. Her grandmother’s grave.

Nothing can get in our way.

Not even Hemingway.

Not even that.

The artist's work space.

Murder Three, Summer 2016

Crow Hollow Books

Crow Hollow 19

About the poem:
I was reading Hemingway's "For whom the bell tolls" when I wrote this piece, and it was obviously the inspiration for the Hemingway ghost scene. I banged out most of it one go, finishing around midnight. Then I went back and edited, mostly for narrative cohesion. I love the sound of poetry. For me that's the most important thing - but narrative I think pulls you along and makes it more engaging. So I tried to achieve both in this poem... hopefully with some success.