Dark things happen in basements,
with their dangling dusty bulbs,
the taste of earth and wood.
What are little boys made of?
“When he sings in the choir,” my mother,
whose footsteps creak above us,
says about Tommy, “… he looks like an angel.”
Tommy bends over Charlie and her kittens,
his hair blue-black like inky Veronica’s,
face creamy, unblemished Irish.
My breath hitches when he
gently tosses the kitten, catches it,
tosses it again not so gently,
its sprawly, tiny body rising closer to
the creaking ceiling. My insides
run like blood, a liquid turn, soldier’s joy.
The final toss is a fling into the rafters,
the small thump, the limp rebound,
Tommy’s sated smile, my crooked one.
He lifts it by the tail and places it pianissimo
among its live, nuzzling siblings.
Alec Solomita’s fiction has appeared in, among other publications, The Mississippi Review, Southwest Review and The Adirondack Review. He’s published poetry in Literary Orphans, MockingHeart Review, Silver Birch Press, and elsewhere. His poetry chapbook, DO NOT FORSAKE ME, will be published by Finishing Line Press in September. He lives in Massachusetts.