Kazumi Chin

Occupation

You got to be kitten me right meow, said the not-funny coach to mammoth, who was not amused. Language escapes me, he spat back. You mistake me for a human. 

That space journey cat took with the coach had turned cat into a mammoth, though it never really felt right in cat’s head. Meow, the mammoth would hum in his head. Meow, meow, meow. 

But the Japanese were ripping the coach’s playbook to shreds. And were teaching mammoth to mew. Like a proper Japanese kitten, they said.

To be kitten, apply one strip of wallpaper at a time. Purr and frolic in the floral print. Language cannot grow when we don’t teach it the ways of civilization, the Japanese star said.

So mammoth used language. He loved the idea of farms and cities. You got me, he said to coach, as the star held the remains of cat’s bloody body in its mouth. Right, said coach.

Meow, mammoth said, before realizing his mistake. He tried to repent for his sins. Mew, mew, mew. But the soldiers had already heard. They shot him and turned him into a piano.

You mistake me for a piano, the piano said. You got to be kitten me. Right, the star said. You got me. Meow. And the piano sang a sad song about a fish who lost his head and grew a human female.

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Kazumi Chin is a poet from El Cerrito, California. He earned his MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and his BA in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside. He has work published or forthcoming in the Ilanot Review, Miramar, Twelfth House, the Casserole Online Reading Series, and the Lo Writer poetry series.

 

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