• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 08

Renters (Reform) Bill; or the cats I never had

It is summer.
In the sticky ache of this city, the wallpaper sweats.
A pet cemetery screams from its surface.
A gallery of cats my landlord never let me own.
Phantom limbs of felines forsaken.
They grow old there.
Wildean, whiskered, withering.

I conjure you from the depths of a grotty well named
Fur the colour blazing from the pyre of my prospects.
Eyes: peroxide peonies.

Your moniker, a dauntingly basic millennial cliché:
Avocado, Cold Brew, Tofu, Grogu, OkBoomer.

They say you make us 30 percent less likely to have a stroke.
Let me stroke you into oblivion on this hot, ceaseless day.

For we are both a mirage,
Our lives not meant to meet here
where the broken tap splutters water across the shadows
on my landlord’s