The cat passed away.

Can I say that? Like

a human. Unlike

a human, it dozed

on the windowsill

in a final sun. Heart

exploded said the vet,

or brain. There was

no cancer. We can say

no pain. The kidneys

were alright. Autopsies

have no time to fuss

with pet affections.

We must let them go

unexplained. The cat

passed in middle age

in cat years in the middle

of a dream, I’m afraid,

because it was a cat.

Some cats I never named

have strayed into my

heart. Stupid. I sneeze

when cats are clean.

Cats with habits

to rival my Virgo tics

have mastered the tops

of refrigerators, kitchen

cabinets, bookcases,

my beds. The white cat

my friend called jewel

in French, Bijou, died

on my keyboard, tongue

on the shift key, pee

on everything, peaceful,

while my friend was in

San Francisco.  I saved

the cat in a mesh bag

used not to lose socks.

The calico cat unable

to mew broke its neck

lunging at the glass door

for a blue jay

on the other side.

And the fat Persian cat

went stiff orange

at the feet of my ex wife

nine months after she

divorced me. The voice

on the phone was almost

familiar: Thought you’d want

to know. I had no choice

but knowing. Others

I tried to love and keep

sat on my lap, watched me

type, bothered my single-

mindedness. Bit. Still others

went missing. When my day

comes, God let it be calm

in sunny isolation with dreams

of meat and sex. I want to die

like a cat:  leave and do it.








Photo by Tom Mascord