Winter. Time to eat fat
and watch hockey. In the pewter mornings, the cat,  
a black fur sausage with yellow
Houdini eyes, jumps up on the bed and tries  
to get onto my head. It’s his
way of telling whether or not I’m dead.
If I’m not, he wants to be scratched; if I am  
He’ll think of something. He settles
on my chest, breathing his breath
of burped-up meat and musty sofas,
purring like a washboard. Some other tomcat,  
not yet a capon, has been spraying our front door,  
declaring war. It’s all about sex and territory,  
which are what will finish us off
in the long run. Some cat owners around here  
should snip a few testicles. If we wise  
hominids were sensible, we’d do that too,  
or eat our young, like sharks.
But it’s love that does us in. Over and over  
again, He shoots, he scores! and famine
crouches in the bedsheets, ambushing the pulsing  
eiderdown, and the windchill factor hits  
thirty below, and pollution pours
out of our chimneys to keep us warm.
February, month of despair,
with a skewered heart in the centre.
I think dire thoughts, and lust for French fries  
with a splash of vinegar.
Cat, enough of your greedy whining
and your small pink bumhole.
Off my face! You’re the life principle,
more or less, so get going
on a little optimism around here.
Get rid of death. Celebrate increase. Make it be spring.
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