One had the whitest fur purer than symbolism.
Washing over her body with a head too big, with patches of beige fur, green eyes.
One had the stringy body of a ballet dancer, sinewy & long.
Blue eyes, one cloudy like the gypsy would say could see through you.
Met them both one Saturday afternoon because you wanted cats
and I said, "OK" & we were out driving & they were orphans,
in their tiny cages, lumped together with other kittens. Just splotches,
just fur, like mixed paints & every so often an outstretched paw.
People say cockroaches are the type of animal that can survive a nuclear
These cats will survive this winter, immune to the heart fallout,
licking the salty tears from my eyes, sleeping next to me where you won't.
They'll probably forget better because they didn't take you in with all five senses,
didn't experience your chemical makeup, several parts this & that &
when I come home from work, they know it's me & rush to the door.
Crowding up against it, waiting for it to crack open, moving forward & back
balancing on their paws, following me into the room, becoming more empty.
I'm becoming less me, but they stay in the living room after you go to sleep.
While I'm watching TV, they collect at my feet as whispers & purring.
They'll still be at the door everyday, long after you're no longer everyday,
and they won't remind me of you but rather of me & my resilience.
As the metaphor cat collapses in, an arch above my head on the pillow, paw reaching
as the ballet cat burrows under the covers & sleeps all night at my feet,
as I forcefully move my body to the center of the bed, equal sides equally.