Melissa never had a cat,
but there should be one here,
near the long Denmark banner
lapping breeze over the porch,
the distant church bells, floral birdsong,
in the heart of the upper white class district
of our nation's capital.
As I wait to say goodbye
to the parting blonde ex-lover girl,
purposeful absence of condoms in my napsack,
her chopped, boylike moptop
bobs up above the hedge
to interrupt this poem.
When we lie on her firm foam
(twin mattresses, adjacent),
after a final, soft "no,"
a few tears wiped by my thumb,
why will I expect the white paws
of the missing long-haired cat to come stalking,
negotiate the shoes and boxes on the floor,
settle neatly between our resigned bodies,
and not purr?