Guy J. Jackson
The Artist

it turned out she had to do
one last charcoal pencil fucking drawing
in a whiskey cloud
this one last drawing being of her black-and-white cat
she didn’t want to do even one more charcoal pencil drawing
but she had to do it
because the charcoal pencils were all she had that would work
for drawing a decent picture of the cat
for the cat’s LOST poster
and she missed the cat terribly
but it took until nighttime to do the drawing
when she’d meant to have it done by noon
she made photocopies of the LOST CAT poster
while tottering against the copier
sneezing and burping tequila
in the all-night newsagent
then she kept the original drawing
mailed one copy to herself in a date-stamped envelope
stuck the rest of the copies up all over the neighborhood
a few days went by
someone came across one of the posters and studied it
then a week later that same someone found the cat
feasting behind a pub on a disemboweled pigeon
the someone went back to get the phone number off the poster
but the artist had gone around
tearing the posters down
in a fury of gin and misery
over her cat
which the artist was certain by that time was dead
so this someone who found the cat
had a decent, if skittish, new cat
and the artist