The cats sleep
on the old wooden shelves
at the side of the house
Sable sprawled inside the empty top shelf
Sofia wedged two shelves below
between the bird feeder
and the black plastic bucket I used
to gather bougainvillea blossoms
before I stopped
and let them form endless layers
at the edges of the yard.
I tiptoe to check on my two little ones
like knowing they are here
and there is something about their furred feet
when they are sleeping
that makes me want
to rub my lips against them.
I scatter rye bread by the gate
on my way to going gluten-free
and the house sparrows and the mourning doves
peck en masse now among the white rocks and pine needles
or perch along the fence and above the gate
waiting for their turn.
I like seeing so many sparrows in my yard.
I’ve missed them
for long months
since the wind took them away.
I think I will not have cats again
once these two leave me
But then I think
cats will come
even if they are not mine.
There is nothing I can do to keep these
little chirping hopping flitting
sparks of life
when I can
on summer afternoons like this
I bring my beasts inside
and leave our courtyard garden
to the winged ones.