The Cat on My Chest in February

this afternoon
the days finally grown longer

a wet nose nudges
licks my hand, a signal

that I am to rub alongside
white whiskers, scratch

behind one bent scarred ear
pink pads knead the wool of my Saturday sweater

first one forefoot, then the other
my marmalade sphinx

lowers her body, the weight
a comfort

our bellies seasoned and soft
warm each other

face to face
her eyes, black moons ascending in a yellow sky

Dawn Steiner