Something recent I wrote for a monthly poetry contest. I was channeling a bit of Tom Waits, perhaps? Maybe? Not at all?
5TH STREET AND WEST
Angus runs the liquor store on 5th Street and West.
His little ginger cat cleans her white paws
in the window each night if you pass by
after Angus locks the door and yanks the grill down.
The neon on the fur, strange strip club effect
but the cat doesn’t seem to care
for Biblical judgments that turn light into sins.
He lives above, in a tiny apartment and she must sneak down
to wander through the whiskey and gin and rum
as a tiger wanders through subdivisions
built over jungle and forest.
That same sensation of bewilderment and discovery
that perhaps something wonderful
lives just behind the section
of Kentucky bourbon.
He’s not married, and that little ginger cat
means the world to him.
When you buy a fifth of something harsh,
that cat purrs under his hand
as he rings you up with the other.
It’s just a cat, he claims with sneer on lips,
but the truth flops little moth wings
in his neon eyes.