my safety insurance is caught with kittens on shoulders

by blake ellington larson

carried miles and miles from cave dwellings

my periphery is as new as birth
as sheltered as shade
we creep up to avenues sweeping down into straight down
blurs and blurs the fear heights bring
claws into sweaters

we’re running now
up boulders and on edged rocks
my shoes angelic
my knees rubber-band style

and dad and brother
and it’s vacation again
sitting hatchback-style pretzel legs
the sun shining magnified in back of car

missed the rendezvous
missed the exit
now trudglings and escapist we’re (the kitty and i)
tumbling towards an unknown mountain side and
running past parades and up and down spiral scopes
and fences over hedges under bridges on shacks hidden

we find the valley and get lost in mountains of emptied budweiser cans
stacked dozens upon dozens
as if art were enough to support beams and beams of
thousands and thousands of unwatered decayed earth

we find huddled tunnels and home-life
old friends that have made a life out of the middle-earth nothings
and the stairs and stairs of climbing upwards on shaky palms

and kitty is calm
but i am not

and then floating over mobile light fixtures that project
a visual blanket-type of knobby knees
assuming the worst
my eyebrows in search

the exit is not far not near
and as daylight approaches
as kitty and i revoke these vacation land blues
and as the strangers become stranger
and family further

kitten and i running fast faster
so daylight eyes would find no surprise

i lurch in earnest to find something solid
something unchanged

to find sure footing again

(2007)

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