A Cargo of Green Hearts
The orange cat returned two years after having vanished forever we imagined
so had got two new cats
we barely recognized him transformed by disappearance as if time had taken his tail
in one hand neck in the other and stretched him across months scruffier now
torn ear a pugilist's nose but still we knew him and he rubbed and scented us with the corner of his mouth nearly hard enough to knock us over.
we fed him went to bed and were glad and afraid less of everything children fear for if one beloved thing returns then why not everything?
the next morning we found him long across the picnic table toe to toe as if leaping from one place to another but his eyes were shut not needing them and he seemed
to belong there beneath the also orange sun but stiff my grandfather carried him to the garden.
and now nearly forty years later I who have careened
through this world so often through shipwreck fire self fulfilling all of it and have grown exhausted too as only something lost can be exhausted
and wonder how I will find my way back to where the hands of life know me rise to meet the casualty of my sad face without the homing sense
of an old cat and so perhaps maybe I will please ask your forgiveness if I stretch myself under you toe to bruised toe like a spent spring and preemptively
for forgiveness if in the morning I do not wake after having mistook your arms for home.
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