Since the 1980s, the Iroise coast in Brittany has received a supply of bright orange landline novelty phones shaped like the famous cartoon cat, [Garfield].
– BBC News, March 28, 2019
At first, it was only a few, feral with need, repulsed by waves and this rocky shoreline: cats lounging at the water’s edge, heads propped under their arms slender in spite of bulbous orange stomachs settling out and down like beached jellyfish: prodigious is the word that comes to mind, as does blubber, a salted bloat. It is hard to describe this feeling of awe and disgust outside of a series of images blurred and mottled suggestively with sand, strands of fur riddled by kelp, our eyes tearing like tidepools full to overflowing, unable to move. At first, we wanted to send them back, airmailed in boxes full of holes, images of dunes, a foreign desert somewhere across the sea, until it was as though they were kneaded into the soil, until we, too remembered the desire for home, comforting as a blanket’s weight, the smell of something baking wafting through our salted hearts.
Jared Beloff is a teacher and poet who lives in Queens, NY with his wife and two daughters. You can find his work in The Westchester Review, littledeathlit, and the forthcoming issues of Contrary Magazine, Gyroscope Review and others. You can find him online at www.jaredbeloff.com. Follow him on twitter @read_instead