MAY 2005

> YOU ARE LIKE A FELINE | anonymous

You are like a feline
living through nine lives.

The lives and loves slowly gnaw at her flesh and intestines,
small piranhas, subtle parasites.
She has not kept count as she sloughed and discarded one skin after another,
shaking and brushing them off
where they’ve constricted and threatened to choke out her life.
She rolls each one up tight like a Scripture,
a scroll of secrets too dangerous for revelation
and buries it,
not tender and mournful like a beloved’s passing
but rough and angry,
crushing it up into a traitor’s noose
for have they not all betrayed?

So many sheddings have left her formless
beneath. It is not a raw nakedness,
but a fluidity born of her fear,
a fear of things solid.

Her lovers look into her eyes--
shifting, ever-changing depths which promise much
but reveal nothing.
She placates them like children
and offers her bright distractions, cellophane toys,
arguments clever and compelling.
She speaks only present truths
and tumbles her loves like dice in her hands,
tries to untangle the knotted nets, the ravaged threads,
the diaphanous fabric which cloaks her
but cannot.
There are too many requiems sung and she cannot tell
what is dead and what remains.

You looked at her with sad, searching eyes and said,
"It is impossible. I cannot uncover you."
She responds with a smile and shivers
and wraps her enigma yet closer about shoulders that have no shape.

It is her shapelessness that disturbs her, like drifting smoke...
on summer nights when street lights buzz and glow.
They cast their simple lights in circular rings
which dissipate when they strike terra firma.
She dissipates with them
and plants her feet beneath her
as she recognizes another passing
another secret ritual.
So many funerals, yet something remains—
not quite solid, not quite fluid, not flesh, not soul, not spirit.
So she divides what remains into slices
offering timid gifts, but holds the rest back,
whispering, "It is all that I can do.
*Too long a sacrifice can make a stone of the heart."

*(W.B. Yeats)

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

Anonymous is a struggling artist / musician / writer / prospective-attorney who lives in New York. She is struggling because her rent is 3x what it was in Kentucky and because she actually lived through the events portrayed in this story. In fact, she is related to most of the characters.