The cat disappeared for two weeks
and came back with one less ear:
I was the cat.
When someone bumps into me
on the subway I want to yell,
I came from the swamp,
and emerged cleanly, ready
with an extra row of teeth.

I packed up my bird and belongings
into the trunk to race a hurricane
to the clinic every other Wednesday.
I pushed my hands through the holes in
the door, touched the weeds and wet tarp,
burned newspapers under old car parts
with an alligator sleeping in the weeds,
doors open to the heavy air.
I’m not afraid of the water or the missing
animals: you can never touch me,
like cranes gliding over the canal.



MJ Santiago is a 27 year-old queer, mixed-race Mexican American from Florida who currently lives in Brooklyn and eats a lot of fruit. Their writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Aegir Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and No, Dear Magazine. Catch them on tumblr.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.