Here’s a story I have been dying to tell
about how Death, in the form of a cat,
loitered in my dreams, luring me to let her
into my home, meowing shrilly if I didn’t,
if I as much as tried to make it
to the door with no sign of letting her in.
The air was like a current, buoying her voice
across the fence so that I began to fear
her nuisance would sooner become mine.
She made me believe that I was her friend,
climbing into my lap and licking my palm.
Gratitude crowded the small rooms of my heart
and then, in the midst of all the happiness,
I clearly heard her ask, in a voice
part human and part cat: Can I stay the night?
I tried to move my tongue, at least to scream
but it had turned leaden like cement.
It was then I started to seek a way out.
I rushed to the door and worked the handle
but it had been locked from outside.
A strong wind came in and snuffed out the lights
so that I could hear the cat but not see it.
What did it mean to believe to hate your life
but not enough to let someone end it?
Where was this cat? The strong wind made her cry
so elusive I went down on my knees
and crawled every area of the room,
crying, knocking down furniture, bleeding,
but there was no way I could feel the pain.
The cat must have been seeing me clearly
with her nocturnal eyes, how was it
that my life was tied to an animal’s?
It had to be Death for soon enough,
amidst all the windy chaos, a chorus
tolled in my ears – die, die – but I didn’t die.