requiem for a dead cat


freeze frame as the door swings inward.

why did it come to this?

their silhouettes press the window like rough-cut paper dolls

empty man (oh, you bastard)

foul temptress (ah, you bitch)

trying to fill the void with frantic futile pleasure.

(a moment on the lips, a lifetime in chains)

my horror reveals me, my mouth red and

painted on like a renaissance angel’s

–who are you, and what are you doing with my blender?

it's written all over his face in magic marker:

look, lover, you've suddenly become inconvenient...

she hisses, spits, viper-like

her peeling dignity sloughs off against the doorframe.

(oh but only snakes stick out their tongues)

i rip the halo from my finger and cast it at his feet

staring into the depths of the espresso maker

. . .

a word: hesitant, feather-light?

i will not look up! i will not forgive!

–touch me not.

his arm falls to his side, noodle from a spoon and just as weak.

it isn't over 'til the fat lady sings so i’ll be an alto

. . .

–so go.

. . .

–you can take the cat but the devo album and the vcr are mine

. . .


separate salt falls upon the carpet, floating on the surface of the scotchguard.

stumbling to the window

left holding the bag, and it's full of broken eggs:

juliet's shadow, lover of a adulterous romeo.

but the cuisanart hath no fury like a woman scorned.



city block below me.


a cry from the street, feline, shrill!

a screech of tires!


i strain like the rubbernecker i am.


spot on the asphalt to match the ones on the carpet.

he wavers on the sidewalk, staring at the flying fur.

stuffing my fist in my mouth to keep back the hysterical laughter

(a crude victory.)

in my room, i grip the vinyl and the machine with shallow triumph

the shell of a lioness over meager prey.

he is gone now.

glad i didn't take the cat.




Copyright (c) 2002 by Christine Hoff Kraemer