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Poetry #55
(published August 30, 2001)
Proof That Felines and Women Invented the Subconscious
by Urquiza Vicente

The neutered cat meows,
licks the crib
with the proverb of a martyr.
The giggle of a rattle is absent.
Thoughts tense sensations
to adumbrate the retribution
of a phantom claw,
the tendency of fur
to act as a suction pump
against innocent skin and mouths.
The mother turns over,
her mind recovers its neurotic,
recurring flatulence,
and the cat returns to its mission
of choke and snip
while in the living room
the husband drops his beer on the rug
as he notices the strange light,
too round and warm, to be
of the moon or one of its cousins,
pouring out of the baby's room.
Shocked that it seems to navigate
through the various pieces of furniture,
settles at the foot of his seat,
with much of the same pomp
and intrepidity as the lost pet
that's been the cause of his wife banishing him
to sleep on the couch for the last week,
he does the only thing he's been
trained to do in a moment of serendipity.
Pull the covers over his head.
Start whimpering until he falls asleep
for a nap that will last but an hour.
When he will be woken brutally
by his wife's pacing and hair pulling.

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