Monday, October 7, 2013

Kitty, Don’t Eat Tape

Kitty, Don’t Eat Tape

When lacking a calm place
I have been known to curl
up into a box. I am a cat
person, it is easy for me
to understand the compulsion
to stuff one’s body into
small spaces, to seek what
will let me chew it by
chewing cautiously. The cat’s
love of anything sticky is
understandable but troubling.
I catch her licking the filmy
glue on an envelope’s flap,
teeth puncturing the corner
of the cardboard box, trying
to scrape free the mailing tape
and get it down her throat.
Kitty, don’t eat tape, I say
it at least once a week.
How does this turn into what
she really hears, Eat faster,
do it now.
I worry that the lives
of pets provide no fulfillment.
Take her for a long hike
in the woods
, the dog person
says. The cat behaviorist knows
better. Install a ledge near
the ceiling, so that she can
watch the birds through the
window, feeling the flicker
of power that comes from
knowing that the bird could
be hers, how easily she could
take something from the world.


  1. Wonderful! Sly and beautiful swerve to the serious in the last lines. And "flicker of power" is just perfect.

    1. Thanks so much, Audrey! I appreciate weirdness is out in full force this week (at least in my poems!).

  2. Love how you this wonderful poem, Hannah.

  3. : ) I have behaved like the dog person and taken our kitties on long walks.. love the ending too.


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