Oblation II

by Tim Stiles

Chiquita came to stay after Elena
started using the mirror
to make herself Josephine Baker,
& the performances all went like this:

 skinny tan Ocicat with white spots
flicking its tail with real elegance
tied to the end of a white ribbon leash
led around the room by a shirtless,
heavily made-up eight-year-old selective mute in a trance,
who stayed vamping for the glass
singing dated songs
no child would know
practicing curtsies for an audience
only she could see.

Tim Stiles lives in the San Francisco-Bay Area. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. His poems, stories and lyrics have been published/recorded throughout the USA and Great Britain. His poetry-photography collaboration with photographer Jay Tyrrell, entitled Botmerica: Repeat After Me, was published in 2016. He won the Seven Hills Review 2020 Creative Nonfiction Award for his story, Bizzy Bone’s Cousin, and is the recipient of LitFest Pasadena’s 2021 Jonathan Gold Award.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash