Nasim Mansuri – Company

Company:

My cat

Lies in the center of the living room

I lie with her. We stretch

raise our arms to the sun

In a one-window room

 

I like the mornings where I don’t have to say anything

I lie on the couch and dream that someone makes me breakfast

I lie in bed and feel the emptiness of the town around me

So many empty apartments, so much work left to do.

 

My cat

Forces me to leave my bedroom

Iies down on the carpet. Speaks.

I stare at the ceiling

Hold a soft, clawed paw

Try to focus

 

Last night I walked out at three am

And saw wild animals in the parking lot

The opossums weren’t scared, they just hurried

The skunks bounced around with arched backs

 

My cat

Watched us from the window

Waiting for me to come home

Made me come back

Instead of walking away

 

I work hard for a future that looks less certain every day

The government calls to deport my friends

We sleep during the day and work during the night

Try to think of things to look forward to

 

My cat

Grabs my hand with her paws sometimes

Looks me in the eyes. It could be

An encouragement, to keep trying

Or maybe just a cat

Watching quarantine pass by.

 

(Student Submission)

Theme: Alone Together

Artist Statement:

The most interesting part of quarantine has been seeing how constant  company affects my cat. Her habits and personality have changed as a  result of the crisis, just like mine have. She follows me around the  house and has become incredibly vocal. Who knows if pets are aware that  anything is out of the ordinary? But when the isolation and uncertainty  feel overwhelming, it’s my cat’s innocence and softness that keep me  grounded, especially when we’re just staring at the ceiling, alone together.