Monday, January 25, 2010

Heirloom



I am the little black cat

Who shocked your womb.


You have one.

I know.

I saw it,

With my steady yellow eyes in the half light.


A little dazed,

I circled around your feet,

Briefly,

Until I learned to hide among the cleansers.

Watching.


You could have founded a religion

Down in the basement laundry room.

I have always known

I am terrifically guilty

Of something...

Something...


I am the little black cat

Among the startling whites.


Look, I have brought the world back to you,

In the moments when I have not been

Drinking everything in sight,

Yowling behind cantinas

Or playing in traffic the way I always do.


I have slept with every woman

Who would mother me,

Because

I love foreign languages.


I am the little black cat

With her wild kittens, out in the barn,

And they are named

Confusion

Emptiness

Self-loathing

and Fury.


I carry them with me wherever I go,

As far as I can travel.

I carry them, one by one, tenderly in my jaws,

And I rename them

Isis

Athena

Boudica

and Cleo-catra.


We are the little black cats

Still alive and tearing up the flower garden

Despite the potent poisons

You set out for us, like gifts.

_________

21 comments:

mac said...

me too ;-)

Shadow said...

oooo, not sure i like them kittens....

Jannie Funster said...

Cleo-catra!

Ahhh, you are something else. And a very very great something else.

Sara said...

WOW. This is a very powerful poem. I first though it was just a sweet simple poem about a cat and then discovered instead that it had a very good "punch in the gut!"

I like the idea of the little black cats "still alive and tearing up the flower garden..."

Thanks for sharing your talent:~)

BTW I came here from Jannie's site.

Talon said...

Now I will be fixing my black cat, Missy, with steely eyes.

This is beautiful. I especially love the laundry room stanza. Terrifically guilty - that's a heavy load (no pun intended).

Riot Kitty said...

I love black cats :)

Kay said...

here kitty, kitty

Cloudia said...

You are seriously talented
and should submit your work to journals & such!



Aloha, Sistah Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Daryl said...

I am usually trying to be glib when I comment but this touched me in an un-glib way

Marion said...

Awesome writing, just awe-inspiring! I have a black cat and he's my familiar, follows me everywhere. Love & Blessings!

Mama Zen said...

I have slept with every woman
Who would mother me,
Because
I love foreign languages.

Holy hell, that's brilliant.

Dulce said...

I thought we were the witches!
BUT-Yes,I am that cat as well and those goddesses ... We are-- my friend!
;)

Secretia said...

And You, the little black cat are immortal!

Secretia

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Where to start? How do you come up with these, so many poems, so accomplished? My, but you're prolific and gifted.

When I was a kid my parent's separated and we moved into a giant town-home complex. There was a basement laundry room, a very scary place, thank God we had a washer and dryer in our unit. I can imagine the religion that would be born out of the bowls of such a complex.

Tabitha Bird said...

Wow. I love your imagery and meaning behind those kittens and that black cat. Soooo good fireblossom. soooo good. :)

Ily said...

Badass cats are my favorite!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I don't know how you do it but I love it.

This was fabulous!

Thank you.
jj

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

There are a half a dozen black cats in my neighborhood and I'm always careful to heed their advice. In fact, I'm MINDFUL to turn back and take an alternate route if one cross my path, which is not as much as one would think.
I like your poem.
Have a lovely week.

cinderkeys said...

So that's who's been writing those songs ...

RachelW said...

Ooh, I can drink this up. I will, now.

hedgewitch said...

I'd say the black cat is bringing some light into darkness, along with her transformed kittens. Even knowing their names is a great accomplishment, let alone changing them. Fine writing, here.