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calico

Paws patchworked and frayed,
Heís whiskered out of smiles.
His one earís deafened by mishap,
The other long swept away
Under the soil of our garden.
His tail as good as a Manxís,
He waves the unravelling twine
And blinks in the sunlight
With coal coat-button eyes.
Nestled in the loose chokehold
Of the pink-cheeked childís elbow,
He purrs out a warning to no one,
Bats at strings of dreams
With his atrophied appendages,
Reaching out with his emery tongue
To taste the last of winterís breath
As it leaves her lips.

And as she sleeps, she claws at him,
Digging tough little fingers,
Sharp nails into his gaping seams,
Tossing in her fevered dreams.
He mewls her a lullaby, feels her settle,
Listens with his deaf ear to the stilling
Of her heartbeat, waits for her lost breath
To ruffle his sewed up skin. Nothing.
In grief, he leaps from her arms
And spills himself onto the sawdust floor

We could patch him,
Patch him back to patchwork perfection.
Instead, we leave him under the trees,
Paws steeped in dirt as he fumbles,
Sighs, and settles back to sleep
In the cold crook of her stripped bones,
Stretched in the shadow of her tombstone.

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© Marziya Mohammedali, 2001-2013