Dreams (c) 2005 Didi Gilson

The Wise Scimitar

by Miriam Kotzin


The terrace lay in last night's snow, in drifts
like sparkling dunes in noonday sun, or swells
of oceans only dreams create, a bride
of light. And then I saw the paw print trails
the cat had made, like scribbled glyphs, of some
forgotten prophet, then the waiting cat.

She was not lying in the sun. The cat
was peering through the window, high snowdrifts
behind her, footpads, starfish. She stood like some
reply to unasked questions. Behind her swells
of snow like last night's tide of wind chimes, trails
of summer, naked as an unveiled bride

who's unattended, as the oldest bride
without a knife who has no sleeping cat
at home. A blinded spy will follow trails
that take her anywhere . She wants and drifts
like jellyfish that float on ocean swells,
as I have wanted, drifted. Surely, some,

expecting trouble, find it. Better some
small bounty like a scythe of light a bride
might carry down the aisle as music swells.
A bright eyed rabbit skull lay near the cat,
its lidless eyes stared blindly at the drifts.
The cat had eaten almost all the flesh. Trails

of blood, a script I recognized, like trails
that lead to dark abandoned shrines in some
old dream. The headless body stained the drifts
with blood. And then, as heartless as a bride
abandoning old dreams like shrines the cat
began to pace from skull to body. Swells
of nausea subside. In rhythmic swells
the cat and I are breathing common trails
that wind among the highest pines. The cat
can't know the value of her gift, as some
home shopping channels mark death down . The bride,
a body, heavy, headless, still warm, drifts.

She floats on icy swells, survives by some
old wives tale that the wife was once a bride.
The cat has kittens drying. Still she drifts.

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