“Drip for me; I’m here. I’m waiting for you. He rubs his head against its silver shine. He rubs his head along her shiny, glossy hair. He rubs his body along her cool, white skin. Please, he pleads. He’s waiting for her watery love.
I watch him stare up at her silver face. His body twists and turns in her porcelain arms. (Is he crying? Is he broken-hearted?) He calls out to her. There is no reply. I feel for him. She will not be coming for him. The train has passed. He howls and throws himself down along the floor. His dark grey stripes, his small pink nose, his long white whiskers, all echo with a small bit of grief. I wish I could know what he thinks of his situation. I have broken his heart.
(Does he know what I have done with the plumber?)
The Fish Wife
This must be how the Fish-Wife feels, thinks the cat, when her beloved has been swept away by life’s delightful bait. She must wait, amongst the waves for him. She must cry her salt-tears and weave her seaweed song. How does she find the strength not to catapult herself out of the waters, out above the sea, to walk on her own fins and find her beloved? The mind is stronger than the body, thinks the cat. She plays this same game. She has hope.
I pick him up, wrap his soft stomach in my arms. His small cat-head rests on my shoulder. I’m sorry, I say¸ we were getting ants and I had the faucet fixed. I put him down. He rubs his head against my leg, then stretches his body up along the kitchen cabinet until he is standing up on his hind legs. I still love you¸ I imagine him saying. I place him on my bed. I put last night’s pajamas around him and his eyes slowly close. He’s purring. He’s happy. He’s dreaming of the bathtub faucet’s kiss. He moans. He’s entering the first circle of grief.
© Umansky 2012