Cat Lady

Some are named for children,
taken by the government.

Others, after the glittering stars
who litter her magazine carpet.

A patchwork blanket in settling frost
to warm her hibernation.

If you saw them that way – cats and their lady –
you’d never guess what they’d do to survive

through all the long weeks as mail piles,
high enough for someone to notice.

Ryan Stone


Alley Cat

She slides through the city night,
caressing shadows to silence.
Wicked eyes come alive
as she pours through my window
like molten ambrosia
and starlight.

Her pale skin soft as the moon’s indiscretions,
her nails as long as nine lives;
she purrs in my ear, the language of felines
who wander with lust on their tongues.

She’s been here before,
sheds her guilt
with her habit
and yowls
the quarter awake.

Before dawn can catch her,
she slinks from my pillow
to bathe in the streetlight,
I watch her transform:
she twists like the band,
returned to her finger,

becoming a house cat
once more.

Ryan Stone

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