x-ray xray of hand


Suddenly I find it odd that
my arms terminate in hands —
these firm and meaty pads,
the bony fingers extruded
in opposition to the outliers,

these peculiar thumbs.

Who designed these naked
anomalies, wrinkling and
weathering with the years?
Where are my clever paws, their
dexterous beauty, their
soft and ageless fur?

A word I have read
a thousand times skews
in repetition. Suddenly,
constellated letters are
strange to each other, new
and diffident neighbors unsure

if they belong together.

I want to host a potluck,
encourage them to
mingle, to
remember, to
say, Oh, yes,  now I recall you.
And Y, and possibly Q.

Even Q, so queer.

Otherwise, how may I speak?
having failed all
these years to learn the
immaculate language
of silence.

Or, forgotten it.

The latter, my cats say
in their native tongue,

Silken and sympathetic
they watch,  offer their
soft and beautiful hands to hold.
They are waiting for me to ghost
my faltering humanity, to forget

the bleakly sagging flesh, the strangely
juxtaposed bone, the fragmenting
byzantine brain, the foolish
voluble tongue.

And open my sweetly
fanged mouth to
dawn’s damp air — profligate
with night smells —
and prick my animal ears to
life’s hushed and durable breath, and
prowl lightly this present earth

on my perfect velvet paws.


green-eyed black cat peering through long grass





  1. Love your suggested pot luck! Presence of others somehow sparks connections that’ve been eluding me …
    And should my aging human essence come next round as feline? I’d be both delighted & honored!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me as well, Jazz!


  2. How vivid and gorgeous a write!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jaya! That’s a lovely compliment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So many fantastic lines in this one, Cate. I particularly love “the / immaculate language / of silence,” which is something I, too, have worked on for years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Bob! My cats have been wonderful role models, though too often I have failed to follow their example. We humans are hard to cure of our particular folly.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We have much to learn from our furry friends!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And feathered!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. And insect and arachnid!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Stephanie! Truly, an honor.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! Your appreciation means a great deal to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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