Leaving by Timothy McVicar

I heard the moment when my cat fell asleep, a heavy breath
heaved into the carpet. And sleep is a fragile thing, I know,

so I tightened my movements, kept them thick and gentle,
to be quiet for him, which is love, I think, or loneliness.

My mother tells me silently to do what makes me glad to
call her on Sundays, buy her chocolates, live. But

I know she just doesn’t want me to leave, doesn’t
want me to give in and relax my knees while I’m under

her wings, like an unhatched egg, dead weight. I know
that she wishes ribbons for me, grandsons

running through the grass, fast, like my cat does, eyes fixed
on his food, head low to the ground like a tracking dog.


A senior with an English major and an emphasis in Creative Writing, Timothy McVicar has been published in each of the latest two editions of West Virginia University’s undergrad literary journal “Calliope,” but this is his very first foreign submission.