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After Charles Baudelaire

Like fervent lovers and austere
Savants, you prize your Persian cats:
Those petted, pampered autocrats
Who’ve ruled your roost for untold years.

Good friends to learning and to love,
They seek the comfort of the dark;
Hell would have tried to work them hard,
But they would never deign to serve.

Enclosed in sleep and noble dreams,
Cold sphinxes linked to solitude,
They wake, then stretch, then scrutinize

Your humble gift of flawless food.
You gaze into their feline eyes,
Where star-shaped, gold scintillas gleam.

© Alice Park 2005

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