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1 poem
Barker Thompson

Barker Thompson (he/him) is a 20-year-old poet from Los Angeles, California. He is interested in how poetry can be used as a tool for self-exploration, especially within the realm of queerness. Barker attends Vassar College where he is an American Studies major with focuses in English and Art History. 

Dead Cat Instructive

On Sundays growing up my dad would take us to open houses in the

neighborhood so we could rate the chocolate chip cookies on their


chewiness & the real estate agents on their gooeyness. I liked my cookies

soft & my agents firm. I liked being told to take as many as you


wanted. I liked being told the square footage. One time we liked the house

so much weeks later we snuck up the driveway to see how the new owners


were renovating it. I liked big window seats. I liked tile flooring. I liked when

original designs were honored. All we found was a cat decomposing. Skeleton


made up of identifiable parts. I saw a skull. I saw a ribcage. I saw vertebrae

that on their own were vertebra. I am struggling with the previous sentence


grammatically. Wishing: I had my mom’s copy of My Grammar and I (Or Should

That Be ‘Me’?). Thinking: I want to write a book that beckons. I want to write so I


ran to the river and then the reader runs to the river. Reader dives in with clothes

on. Reader wades to the other side. Reader comprehends the current. I’m still


believing you’re a good person deep down because I have decade-old scabs

that still have yet to heal. We’re our parents’ children but we’re also our children’s


parents. We’re lucky to be identifiable parts. Bone. Body. Book. Let memory

haunt you. Let heart breaking be heartbreaking. All open houses will be accessed


virtually, eventually. All the cat’s bones will become dirt, slowly. Dig up

the grave to find nothing. Reader digs up the grave to find nothing.

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