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Black Cat Fever


After Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 -1926)

You look at her and watch a ghost take shape,
A ghost that you would like to knock about.
You focus on the black cat’s spectral coat,
Then while you look, the ghost evaporates.

You hate to watch the vision go awry;
You’re like a man who goes berserk when all
Has changed. You want to pound and pound the walls
Until your angst is soothed and pacified.

How long you look at her you cannot tell.
The cat sleeps on and then she wakes from slumber.
You gaze into the pupils of her eyes,

And there you see your tiny mirrored self,
Trapped inside her eyeballs’ yellow amber,
Dangling like a prehistoric fly.

© Alice Park 2005

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