The battle for clarity in the land of projections continues its eon.
Like a feline batting at red lights on the carpet, I have no need to win,
but my instincts sure keep me busy chasing illusory things.
I work so hard every day just to exist. It seems I can only rest alone.
How long will I go on explaining?
Set the box on the ground and I will climb inside.
You’ll know where to find me but I'll have my own walls.
You could bag me and I’d be happy not to be seen,
curled up in small spaces where the walls are pliable.
I could shred them with my claws but I don't because they hold me.
The compelling darkness of places I can crawl inside.
The silence in being contained.
Perhaps if I close my mouth, everything will be perfectly clear.
Is that enough? Or must I scamper and run outside like a wild creature,
remember what it was to be feral?
Shake off the collar and forsake velveteen pillows and sweet milk for my tongue.
Find my open fields of poppies and mice. Satin petals under my paws.
Supple dinner in my jaw after the blissful chase.
Running from bigger cats with their territorial dances.
Prancing on high fences, I never fall.
I find all the secret places no one else does.
Places where the light is dim or gone, and my sight is clearer for it.
The moon and I understand each other.
We live for Night, and know all of her children.
We shed just enough light for shadows to emerge,
for my eyes are tiny moons made for twilight and black times:
gentle enough for sensitive things that singe in the sun but still need to be seen.
And maybe that's why you keep me around.
Tired of the glaring sunshine your eyes have to labor to receive.
Your hands blistered and worn from the tools of the day.
Ready to rest your eyes where light can't reach;
touch something soft and sinewy that slinks about in shadows
and comes alive in the dark.
Copyright © Sheyorah Naify, 2021