Louie Skipper


Inside Out

What does the cat see in the fire?

Only water boiling in the wet logs.
This is all the calico shows.

What flame has come to nest in her eyes?

She kept as still among the pines
all the while spying the high-flying crows.

And of the dance that dances in fire?
Black feathers scattered under black clouds.

What wings will winds not bring down.

Then she ate her fill under the willow’s shadow?

And arched in lightning to spit down the dog
as though she floated from behind and cursed him first.

What is the worst in what she sees?

Rain on smoke, ice in rain,
golden eyes and the mind behind them simmering.

What kind of sight have those eyes acquired?
She stares as deep into earth as into air

all the while she is sitting there.

"Inside Out" flips part 1 of “Four Ballads in Yellow” by Federico Garcia Lorca.