A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
He lay next to me on the bed, facing the wall. It had become his sleepy-time signal, the message was to leave him alone, that sex wasn’t even a remote possibility. Tonight I reminded him that he once referred to me as a cat replacement. How a long while ago, he’d shown me photos of his lost cat, he had hundreds of them from the time she was a kitten.
“Do you think that this might be part of the problem with us? That I have Snowy’s vibe?” I said.
Tonight I was hitting my wall. I imagined climbing the Everest of his body, perching on the top of his belly like a sexy squid, dangling my breasts over the shelf of his face like fishing lines. “Pretend I’m her,” I’d purr.
The thought of this made me sad, but it also made sense. He was still in love with her. I shouldn’t have let my hair grow in white. That was her dominant color.
“Old pigeons can be a bit sensitive,” I said.
“It’s not always about you. And you’re not old!” he said. “Not nearly old enough. Now goodnight!”
After he fell asleep, I discussed all of this with my dead dog, Linus. Linus died when I was was a teenager, but sometimes his hairy memory lay next to me in bed. Especially since my third marriage seemed to be failing, it was lovely to have him back. Linus’s breath reminded me of all of the strange, fishy moments of loving another creature.
“Do you see me as a cat?” I asked. Linus sighed, as always. He’d known for decades about how love would defeat me, that nobody in my family had ever been understood.
“At this point, you might as well be a ghost,” he said.
Copyright 2019 Meg Pokrass
Meg Pokrass is the author of many books including The Dog Seated Next to Me published by Pelekinesis.