Restraining Order

A tuxedo cat’s been haunting my fire escape;
it disturbs me to realize his form is all he is, all he will ever be.

I swear, I could skin him, protect myself from all decoys,
prevent us from meeting, even in dreams, within the same 100 yards,

but no worries, I don’t need protection; you follow the law and stay gone,
as maybe you feared last year’s blizzards and that’s what kept us inside…

all that unrestraint, all that To Be Continued—
now you’re just another Where Are They Now?

Fall comes to Dyker Heights and ships in
the smoky nights I need so much, when

every breath mimics carbon monoxide
and the truest word looks combustible.

Michael Tyrell’s poems have appeared in many magazines, including Agni, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and The Yale Review. With Julia Spicher Kasdorf, he edited the anthology Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn.