Meryl Natchez

4 a.m.

The cats have noticed it’s four in the morning
and I’m up, which is unusual, so they should
be fed because so what if I’m reading Dean Young
and discovering a previously unglimpsed
jazz riff intelligence in the moon-filled 
swimming pool? If I’m up, it’s time to eat. No food 
in the bowl and papers scattered over
every horizontal surface except the floor,
where other things are scattered, the entire
contents of my purse, a constellation
of pennies and nickels and receipts and notes
that no longer attach to anything I can decipher,
wrappers without candy, lipstick with no top, poured out there
looking for the cell phone I misplaced playing
hide and seek with myself once again,
a game that never seems to lose its charm
based on the frequency with which I play it,
even at 4 a.m. without music,
accompanied by grimaces, frantic hand motions
and searchings deep in the morning for something,
something lost again.