Gone Toxo

Naomi Bess Leimsider


i’m the mouse who sniffs the cat to get switched on. my little body aches
to bursting and i dream of going in-cat with only nibbling teeth
to guide me; my poked out eyes cannot lead the way.

does my crazy make parasite and the cat?
i am beholden to the bodies of both– benevolent dictators and loving moms — but
the beast never knows he’s bitten.
i see smoky eyes, feel twitchy ears, smell sour cat gut, and I am born again.
attracted like a fallen from grace gutter mouse,
reduced to a gray knotted fur bitten off tail growl no cheese howl,
so just put me out with the garbage at the end of Cat Road!
after all,
a tadpole becomes a frog but never snuggles in a snake’s shedded skin;
a caterpillar becomes a butterfly but doesn’t yearn for the jacamar’s mouth,
and you think a mouse doesn’t know she’s lost her mind?

the beast wants me tasting close
because i am the milk of a cat dream.
my thumpy heart only beats for the beast’s psychopath stare,
his still stalking body,
the parasite whispering sweet nothings to me
in the night
in the dark
telling me what to do
what I want next.



Naomi Bess Leimsider has published poems and short stories in Newtown Literary, Otis Nebula, Quarterly West, The Adirondack Review, Summerset Review, Blood Lotus Journal, Pindeldyboz, 13 Warriors, Slow Trains, Zone 3, Drunkenboat, and The Brooklyn Review.