Cathy Porter: “In the Real”

We cut the room in half, claim

our territory. Tonight, it’s all about

division. But tonight isn’t every night –

we know that better than most.

The years have stacked, but we know

how to rebound. I’d still do it

all again.


High winds on cue; streetlights shake

like jello. That noise in the attic – bat

or bird? Neither of us check; we don’t

need more problems. Did I mention

I’d do it all again?


We make plans, we make dreams.

Fruition doesn’t matter.


Answers are for endings — we’re not

there yet. No promises, no smoke,

mirrors optional. The faint of heart

need not apply. We live it full —

stuffed to the gills in the real.



Cathy Porter’s poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, Homestead Review, California Quarterly, Hubbub, Cottonwood, Comstock Review, and various other journals. The Dash Between Us is her latest chapbook from Finishing Line Press: A Life In The Day and Dust And Angels appeared in 2012 and 2014. She has two chapbooks published by Dancing Girl Press in Chicago: Exit Songs (2016), and 16 Days (2019), as well as The Skin Of Uncertainty (2020) from Maverick Duck Press. Her chapbook Bodies Of One Breath is forthcoming in 2023 from Dancing Girl Press. Cathy has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. She lives in Omaha, NE.