mr. no mister

a cat comes to cross the room, 
back stretched,
paws out, ignoring me; 

he is sleek, he is regal,
and he is the one 

that pays me no attention.
it’s the other one 

who cuddles up to me, no prefix, 
leaving strongly scented presents,
alongside the pillow i’ve learned 
to keep from him. the one 
who became an outside cat 
when fortune, the gods and
the wheels of that minivan stole 

his continence away in the night. oh! 
imagine the vanity and self-control
trailing behind the bumper 

under the sticker proclaiming:
yes we did! 

he has learned to give and accept 
love, bearing wisdom in his limp, 
knowing, his own differentiated image, 
soft, in his hips where scar tissue 
accentuates the weighty tomes his body holds.

this is why i share with him, 
my home, my heart,
but not my bed, never my bed,
momma didn't raise no fool

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