Poetry Issue 5

   Issue#5: July - December 2005

Kristine Domingo


The Cat


      I prefer to walk under threats of a storm
      for my cigarettes, to a mini-store
      not around for many more blocks.

      Only the neighborhood black cat sees
      through the first white lie I’ve made in months.
      The one I made in line for a license.
      That Tuesday where my pencil’s
      hurry encircled twenty-twenty.

      My grandmother once gave me a look—
      Why would I want to see things that clearly?
      Her husband had succumbed that year
      to lung cancer, which left her dust
      in stainless steel. Though she wore her glasses
      with a thick cord around the house, and
      made me perfect purls which curved into
      a cap I forget every December.

      Though I’ve not decided on a belief
      the restless roam where cats relieve
      themselves, a quicker pace picks up.

      I try to recall the name of a book kept
      for sometime from the library, on a kind
      of realism. The one where a maiden
      ascends into heaven through butterflies—
      creatures who have lifted my grandmother

      as I’d told my six-year-old niece, last year.
      To the cat, it matters little why or how long
      it has been since my last one. Without turning,
      in a rustle its purr has taken cover
      under one of the fire trees just passed. And I am
      the lone breath in the middle of a road going uphill,
      with not even my true vision to conceal
      from the rain, my childish intention.