The cat lay vomiting on the side of the bed and I was vomiting, too, our heads together and apart like a magnetic field, when he laid one way I would lay the other. Just being in each other’s presence was enough to be sick. Great, I thought, two piles of puke trying to hold it together.

When I leave the apartment, when I am on the street underneath our window, the cat mews and pushes the screen with its paw. If the cat were to jump, I would catch it with my arms, hope they held up to its rotund weight, hope that I could provide something more than a vomitorium partner.

Later, when night falls, and everything is still dirty, we will snuggle and shake, recollect ourselves together.

Later still, when I bring someone that is random yet good looking home from the bar, I will forget there are piles of vomit everywhere and suggest we go to their place. I will suggest we go sooner than later, while the cat is still resting in the window.

Katie Jean Shinkle is Assistant Poetry Editor of DIAGRAM, current Nonfiction Editor for Black Warrior Review and Contributing Editor for Del Sol Press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Journal, PANK, Staccato Fiction, and dislocate, among others.