Photos of honeycomb and bees have been layered into a rectangular repeating background.


I’ve come down with a stomach bug. 
Unfortunately, I need to postpone our meeting. 
Thank you for your understanding. 
On the couch, cowering, 
the searing pain of shame 
pierces my confidence clean through. 
The cloud is back. 
Every raindrop, a whisper: 
You’ll never make it. 
…not good enough… 
…better off without you… 
…just can’t get it together… 
I’ll never make it. 
Why does everything hurt? 
How did I become the cloud? 
It’s a bad morning. 
I gather my weapons: 
one numbs, another buries. 

A light-tan dog rests on a darker-brown dog bed. The dog wears a smaller gray collar and a large black fabric collar. The dog's eyes are closed and peaceful. A white hand wearing a gold ring rests on the head of the dog gently, and a khaki-clad knee is visible on the dog bed.

What I don’t squash, I silence. 
I am a shovel, a shield, a stronghold; 
an insentient cyborg; a stone. 

Eventually, I look up. 
Your enormous eyes, adoring portals, 
beckon me to the fireplace. 
I scoot up to your cozy throne. 
You lift your long head toward mine; 
snoot to snoot, you take me in. 

With a thud and a sigh, 
your silky skull meets my thigh. 
My fingers find your cheek, a whisker. 
Your ears, giant triangles, velvet. 
Your long legs, capacious chest, 
large enough for both of our hearts. 

After a while, I rise. 

It’s still a bad morning – 
but softer.