The Painter, Russell Zintel
I watch my cat drag a bleeding mouse across the floor.
Ok, the mouse is dead.
Any new blood that emits
No longer counts as bleeding.
Beginning to stand, I see the way she enjoys
Having the specimen in her mouth & become captivated.
There’s something inspiring about her enjoyment
Leaving a swipe mark across the white vinyl tile, as if the mouse’s fur
Has become a paintbrush. As if its tail is the paintbrush handle
& my cat the accidental painter
Only dealing in red.
Her signature: lines like weeping.
Their tears, plasma
Rising through an atmosphere of envy
An alternate universe where art satisfies hunger
Where canvases turn like spit roasts in the gut.
She discards the mouse remains, all spine
Tail, feet, a sinister little sword, looks at me
Like, What are you gonna do for me, now?
Then slinks into the living room
To sleep it off. I will never
Like she does.
Russell Zintel lives north along the Hudson River with his partner KT and their cat. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in decomP Magazine, Re-Side Zine, Tiger Moth Review, and others.