somewhere on the edge of the street's lamp
a cat skitters away, a mouse snapped in jaws.
it hears my footfall, stops.
the eyes it casts on me fall inward. their blackening fury
a depth like whale's belly, like grief's first days.
awestruck, i hold my place.
cat, you look at me like he did. if only he had known
a way to find a place for us where this dirty seed
could not grow and ruin all the wallpaper.
a filthy killing vine, gripping at the neck of love.
and i, resistant, and he too: but his failure to steer
made for us dashed all over the hillsides.
the cat moves off to pull apart the mouse.
and this is all we have power for now.
pick over sorry remnants and lament or pretend.
i catch a glance of the cat each night after,
or superimpose it: blood on it's fur, gore on it's nose, a grim detachment
mocking the entrails i am coveting.