Urban Wildlife

If I could pick just one,

I’d be God’s own manul cat,

that feisty little thing

with the darkest “keep away” pupils,

but I believe you’ve come to test me

and make me spit out old words

like an owl spits out mouse bones.

I know that when I see a raven

I must keep a respectful distance,

but I forget myself and say,

“Excuse me, friend,

might I take your picture?”

And I myself am melting,

like one of Max Ernst’s creatures –

a viscous human bird

that can’t fly.

OK, then, I’ll walk,

I prefer to take the path along the water

where the bats are.

It only takes five minutes,

but above the knees my legs are stone,

and my shoulders crack

like old window frames.

Still, there’s the fox’s

sarcastic curiosity

to see what comes next,

to see what comes tomorrow.

All I know is

I have to go to work tomorrow

but I can’t sleep

because that tailless tom

is here again

going through the trash.


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