To a Dead Cat
Your body lay crushed and broken in the street
one eyeball bulging out, floating atop a crimson crest.
In life you had been
sleek and black
a fleeting shadow
glimpsed from the window.
I called animal control
to come pick up your broken body
the remnant that had been you.
I asked about a catch, spay, release program
to help the neighborhood’s surviving strays
lucky enough to have so far evaded
their worst natural enemy
killers of the ecosphere and of small animals.
One of them got you good
Killed you dead
Hit and run.
In life you were sleek and black
a ruthless killer
scourge of birds, rabbits, voles
a mass murderer
an invasive species
black and sleek and beautiful
natural born killer
with moves beyond
Thelma will no longer tense suddenly
spring to the window
glare intensely at
her wild biological twin.
I stroke Thelma under her chin
her purring shakes the air, shakes my heart.
“you’re lucky,” I tell her
I would kiss her furry head,
but I don’t want a mouth full of cat hair.
In my dream that night
a dead eye stares up at me
floating atop a crescent crust of red
Ethan Goffman’s poems have appeared in BlazeVox, Mad Swirl, Madness Muse, and Setu. As a journalist, he has extensive publications on environmental and transit issues. He currently writes for Mobility Lab and teaches at Montgomery College.