The Face of My Cat

I open my eyes to see eyes wide, staring into mine

above sunken cheeks astride her pink button nose

and upturned mouth, with whiskers between

that are long enough to measure exactly

the width through which her body can squeeze

when she is chased by an enemy.

The whole of her face rests on two paws,

claws curled under, but I know they are there,

sharp as fangs waiting to rip asunder

any who dare to breech a contract

or cross a stream of consciousness.

As I watch she creeps up my legs, over my belly,

onto my chest, opens her mouth.

Her tongue comes out to my left jawbone.

She begins to purr and lick with gentle ferocity,

with the incredible rasp of a craftsman’s tool.

Once, I let her lick as long as she liked.

Finally in pain, I slipped from under her tongue,

consulted a mirror to see the blood of our bondage.

She looked at me with those eyes,

those eyes so loving, those eyes wide, staring into mine

above sunken cheeks astride her pink button nose

and upturned mouth, with whiskers between.

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