Poetry Issue 5

   Issue#5: July - December 2005

Mabi David


      It was as if
      the cat taught her to keep
      her garbage neat.
      Her garabage neat

      in bags wrapped twice
      and tight— it ought to be
      enough. But this cat

      it (was as if it)
      always knew— the way
      the nose knew & followed
      where it was led, its hunger

      a distended corner
      of the trash bag, tender
      with the meat&juice, leftover
      rot from last night’s feast

      — always knew exactly where
      to claw it open. It happened
      not once, not twice, but often!
      Whose cat? Whose cat?

      So she cleaned her trash
      before throwing it out:
      rinsed each wrap,
      each can brushed.

      Silly, really,
      to have clean, neat garbage
      but sillier

      still to fight against the will
      of a creature that knows its hunger well,
      knows where to lead it,

      and with a claw knows
      to gut open the tight, twice-wrapped
      bag where she keeps
      spoiled meat, fish skeleton.