Issue 164, Winter 2002-2003
I, detaching myself from the human I, Henri,
without thick eyeglasses or rubberized white skin,
stretched out like a sinewy cat in the brown grass
to see what I felt, wrapping my tail around me,
hiding my eyes.
I slept. I waited. I sucked air,
instead of milk. I listened to pigeons murmuring.
Scratching my ear, I couldn't tell if I was male or female.
The bundled energy of my life drifted along
somewhere between pain and pleasure,
until a deerfly launched an attack
and anger, like a florist's scissors,
pinched the bright chrysanthemum of my brain.
Overhead, the long enfolding branches,
weighted down with Venetian green,
suffused the air with possibility.
I felt like a realist, recovering from style.
Grief and dignity swirled around discreetly,
transferring to me an aura of calm,
as I lay in a shawl of gold light,
licking my paws, licking my throat,
my smooth imperturbable face revealing nothing,
even when I thought about my first loves,
surface and symbol, rubbing against me,
humping in the shadows, making my whole body tremble.
I purred, watching an iridescent blue beetle
imbibe chlorophyll from a leaf.
I flared my nostrils, hearing a starling
splash in an amphora of rainwater.
With my paws in the air, exposing my ripe belly,
I rubbed my spine, a little drunk on the ultraviolet rays
and on myself, I confess.
Then the sky cleared. Birds were flying.
I felt a deep throbbing, as from a distant factory,
binding me to others, a faint battering of wings against glass
that was the heart in the lovely dark behind my breast,
as I was crouching to tie my shoelaces,
feeling strange in the meaty halves of my buttocks,
until I sprinkled a little earth on my head,
like Hadrian reunited with the place he loved.