The nuns were missing their cat, Beelzebub.
When they held him against their black habits,
he seemed to vanish as thoroughly as worldly temptations.
The nuns bake Russian black bread
and share with Beelzebub, who is what he eats.
"Such a naughty kitty," scolds Sister Robert, more fond than mortified.
Where is Beelzebub? Is he
walking up and down the earth, seeking the grail
of a fish skelly in a silver garbage pail?
Or is he wandering the tile rooftops,
closer to Heaven than the nuns?
Beelzebub is visiting Bathsheba, a woman of certain skills.
She picks him up and holds him against her camisole
where he vanishes as thoroughly
as a married man in the morning.
"Such a naughty kitty," she scolds, but smiles.
Beelzebub does not blink, but rumbles like Barry White.
Where is Beelzebub, why here he is,
back from wherever he was
and smelling like Tabu.
He jumps on the table and inspects a loaf,
vanishing behind it like a hidden desire.
"Such a naughty kitty," says Sister George, but she loves him as God loves her,
Beyond reason, and forever.
for The Sunday Muse #148 where I am hosting this week.