A POEM by MEILY TRAN

A CAT'S FOURTH LIFE IN THE BODY OF A DOG


Sleep, eat, shit—a mundane everyday life.

Are you happy? Are you content? Have you

found the meaning of life at the ripe young age

of eleven? What wisdom are you privy to that


a working human is not? But then again, you

probably think it’s a new day every time you

wake up from a nap. Do you understand me

when I bark back at you? Have we unknowingly


talked about jazz, or taxes, or your favorite recipe

from Cesar’s Canine Cuisine? (I think it’s the bacon

one, with the blue packaging. That’d be my favorite

too.) It’s hard to think about what you think about,


even when I like to narrate your thoughts all the time.

For instance, do you like being carried? I can never

tell. I heard that chihuahuas are sensitive about

personal space but you never seem to care about


mine. I don’t mind though, because when I cradle you

in my arms, your paws nestled in the palm of my hand,

I can hear your heartbeat. You are alive. Conscious.

warm, like a portable heater. The lines engraved into


my palms know the dips of your ribcage better than

their own caverns. They amplify your heart’s steady

tremors and marvel at how ancient your soul is. I like

to think that you’ve been reincarnated three times already.


In your first life, you were a cat, a clingy one. In your

second life, you were the president of the United States.

In your third, you lived a life where red was the only

color you ever saw. You hated it. Now, you have been


rewarded with the lax life of a chihuahua with no fucks

left to give. But there are greater things awaiting you,

aren’t there? Bigger streets to roam through and mark

with your urine? Those can wait. As the caramel sunset


squeezes through the living room blinds and paints your

white hairs orange, you can fall asleep on my lap until my

legs become numb and prickly. When mommy wakes us

up for dinner half an hour from now, it will be a new day.

 

Meily Tran (she/her) is a college freshman from southern California. Most of her works are first drafted at 1 AM and are inspired by her tragic sapphic love life, sporadic identity crises, and beloved pet chihuahua. Twice a week or so, she rambles on Twitter @tran_scendence.