Wherefore Art Thou

When your friend is in another state
Where the ground isn’t quite so frozen
And she calls to tell you her cat has died
After only a few days with the sitter 
And you look up the appropriate service
From the Tibetan Book of the Dead
For an impromptu steel grey memorial
As spring puts its transformation on hold
And you feel the presence of feline divinity
Ascending to the realm of its own itself
Even though the cat was never found
Surely these words have found the cat
And fed him sustenance only eternity could eat

Don’t be surprised if a few weeks later
After your friend has returned to the north
She calls to let you know that
The cat was never dead to begin with
The cat was only hiding from 
The strangeness of the sitter
And scavenging the water from the cellar
And any mice that crossed its spot
At least that is the best hypothesis
For why his absence was so strongly felt

When a cat hides he hides with a purpose
One that is not ours to glean
For we have only words to bring forth
The intimation of innumerable lives
While a cat may hide in the cellar
If he knows his true companion is not there
He will wait for the opportune moment
To show himself resurrected
And you will see him as thin new familiar born
Now it is finally safe to return

By Joshua Keiter

reader, writer, actor, singer, teacher