I did see you, curled up like a cat
in the second row, your grey paws crossed.
I saw you wince when I couldn’t remember the words,
And flick-frown in that tongue-tip corner way you do.

It’s funny, really, because I love cats,
but you aren’t one to slip and sleek around my calves.
Instead, it is I who circle you:
I rub against and move around without ever losing touch.

It’s guttural, my pleading: I shake until I begging purr,
and press and press against your legs
though I find them hard and solid.
At night, my tiger stripes come out, and I scratch and tear those foul posts,
waking with splinters instead of claws.

The words forgotten like shredded newspapers
pad me as beetle-curled, I sleep.
Beneath me, no one will see them, or remember,
lining the catbox of my dreams.