Saturday, February 23, 2008

There's something about the lick of a cat

rough and gentle

that speaks of quiet nights and peace.

(Even though I hate the sight of that cat,

she's old and mean and doesn't like to cuddle.)

There are times when she pretends well – acts

like one would expect a cat to act, and yet

at that last second.

The split before your hand reaches the back of her neck

the pretense shattered, your hand touches nothing.

And so, each day. You'd think I'd learn

the cat doesn't like to be touched.

Yet I try, I get sucked into the calmness that surrounds

a sleeping cat

Teased by burnished black fur, glossy under the overhead light,

lulled into believing that this once, she'll capitulate.

Such is the curse of eternal optimism. Even the rats in the maze; even Pavlov

was successful in teaching his dogs the meaning of repetition.

Here I am, stuck in the endless loop of choosing to believe the best,

even from an old black cat that hates the world. Lucky for me she doesn't have claws.