My nights are quiet now, brief forays into the silence-but-for. The cat has taken to biting at her tail, near its base, and each night I worry over her worrying it, stressing over her stress.

I read things that say that cats can develop OCD or ADHD. I am skeptical, yet compulsively watch the tail. It does not get worse, nor better.

My nights are quiet, impassive things, dust on butterfly wings, delicate and smudged. I prepare quiet food; I eat quietly at a small table. The cat is loud, insistent, but the last time I shared with her she gave it back to me, all over the floor, five times. I worried.

My quiet nights, my little pieces of peace, my ancient newthings are kept so close, so greedily hoarded. Life measured in nights – in time after until time before – is not a bad way to keep time. It is quiet, and quiet gives way to thought, and thought gives way to slow, confused pride.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.