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The Boy on the Edge of Happiness

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Cat’s Lives

‘I’m just stepping out to get the cat in.’
She didn’t in fact return for a week
spent on the back of someone else’s motorbike.
Suspicious, I admit, if only for the reason
that I don’t have a cat — and strange how
I can always tell when she’s going;
her lights fade like a battery lamp or a dynamo
slowing at a junction. I realise now
I blunder her borders, the space I know
to be hers; and eventually she comes back to find me
in a cold bath, or in front of the tele
by the flowers that drooped a week ago.
And just in case you’re any in doubt,
I have a cat now. It comes in, it goes out.


Robert, what shall I say?
That without you the need to dress
or entertain is a little less?
That there are days
when I could find
in mid performance?
Or now and again, forget a line
in a Largo, when I could be running
my fingers along your back:
these ivories your bones. Or that
your friend, Johannes, has moved in?
Should I say around town there’s a rumour
that his hand was slow at my shoulder?

Smith/Doorstop Books, ISBN: 1869961803
Paperback, 28 pages (31 May 1996)
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