The black cat lies on my chest
and demands attention. She doesn’t care
about civil war or climate change —
just wants what she wants,
what she always wants. I’m not certain
love is the right word for her part in this.
I’ll call it that for the moment.
For the moment it feels like the right word.
Love holds her to the simple path
of touch and feed and sleep
and while it won’t stop my world
from dissolving around us both,
it will do for the moment to keep me
from despair for the future
that I know is short (for me at least);
I have no illusions tonight —
just the cat, the comic films,
love’s promise of a full night’s sleep
erasing the day, the week,
the year, the era, and all the sick air
I’m so tired of breathing.