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when needing to shift is painfully delayed
for fear of disturbing them,
you become aware of the night,
an honorary member of tiger’s tribe.
small, warm bodies pressed firmly
against the back, against a thigh, on top of a foot,
and another using a hand as a pillow;
they all have their place, this hierarchy of cats.
sometimes quarrels disturb the peace
a slap, a low pitched moan, even a chase
but they always discover an arrangement
that suits their needs at the time,
whether for comfort, grooming, or companionship
this is humanity’s pride, Daniel’s dream,
only size differs.
whisker’s twitch, muscles quiver, tails flex
hints of a dreaming life and adventures
we’re not privy to
do they hunt in their dreams?
the intensity of focus while stalking
no zen master can emulate:
it’s a lesson in present living.
is this bond we share love?
too easy to humanize them,
especially while they sleep
tamed? perhaps, but are any of us truly?
their tiny bellows keep the spark burning,
mere candles compared to the flames in the forest.
man’s duplicity should be more feared
than the cat’s perfect symmetry
their intent is clearly spoken
with a wave of a tail, a folded ear, a whisper-
if only I could suspend these human thoughts
for something more primal, pure
I might share this moment,
this space, this night, find communion with something alien
before I, too, give in to sleep, still wanting
until the sun intrudes, slowly etching across the bed.
they stretch, arch backs, flex claws, and yawn.
they nuzzle, pushing cheek against chin, kneading my side
until I awake to the new day.
“bringer of food” is proceeded by his clan,
as they run like sprites to the eating place.