Two certificates of psychology from DePaul,
banged up and weighed down by the TV remote.
Balled up Alice Cooper t-shirt stinking with sweat
on the couch, watching Lithuania score
against New Zealand. Wine stains
on nearly everything: the couch’s red leather,
white carpet, cushions and magazines.
Over it all an egg smell, overcooking,
or just a man. Cat slipping
over loose door hinges toward his hiding place,
a single boot print splintering
the door, gouged lock.
Call in the middle of church,
not being able to talk right now, in the middle
of Isaiah 46:10. Something about doing what He pleases.
Still going. Squad cars blocking the bagel shop
and police tape and trying to sneak by anyways
because he’s alone in there.
Because you have two tickets for the Alice Cooper concert
and he paid for one. Police breaking flower pots
on the porch and no one knows where the cat is—
or the causes. OD? Stroke, heart attack?
Maybe New Zealand hasn’t won since June
and the field is too damn green. His wife on the phone:
animal sounds. Black bear, lion, woman
watching two men carry the broken door, lolling
shroud on top: look away. Sitting on the curb,
memorizing that blue raspberry emergency flash,
waiting for your Uber to show.
Sophie Young is a senior at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. She has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation and the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She has work published in The Interlochen Review and Crashtest. Her greatest achievement remains getting her cat to sit for treats.