He ain't Boo Boo.
There's nothing cute
about the guy in my kitchen.
I smell him for days after running him off,
scrub the counter and the stove
where he stood to claw the cupboard and pee.
It must be a worker or a gust
that blew open the door. I halloo, "What gives?"
No answer. Outside it begins to pour.
Sometimes workers get gruff; they get hung over.
When I turn the corner
he towers above me,
As firmly as I can I say, "Leave."
He leans into the fridge, not quite ignoring me.
We're both a little nervous.
Time for me to go.
I bang windows and shout.
Soon enough he jumps, he lumbers,
breaks the counter on his way out.
It only takes an hour
to wash away his scat, his muddy feet,
but I feel his phantom for weeks
pawing through my dreams.
Robert Barnes lives in Tahoe Paradise, California. "Lately I
develop property. In my spare time I row."