It’s finally summer in Oregon, clear sky, and a full moon. There’s joy. I’m writing a poem in between feeding and playing with the cats, yet, there is the fear of the inevitable at the end. The poem goes: “The death of the body is a promise, which we can dissolve together, then be born again at the same time.”
I couldn’t sleep last night, which is not unusual, but I was up early this morning for no apparent reason.
A man stopped by, looking for the owner of a dead cat. “Do you know whose cat it is” he asked, “over there, across the street?” It was about 30 minutes ago; I remember thinking “Where is she this morning?” I remember calling her name, and a distant ‘meow’. “But she’s not used to me being up this early” I tell myself, and “there are a lot of cats in the neighborhood. Besides, my cats never cross the street; I have told them.”
“No tags!” the man continued. I looked, it was her, yet I couldn’t say “she’s mine.” I wished he would leave. I wanted to be alone, just her and I, but he kept on hanging around. I mumbled: “It’s one of my cats,” and to disguise the pain of the loss I felt at that moment. I tried to think about the benefits of having one less cat. I swiftly held his hand, shook it, and said “thank you for stopping by.” I felt as if I had betrayed her presence. He said he had cats.
I stood still, observing her lifeless body like a scientist. I was emotionless. There were flies. There was fresh dried shiny blood on the hot asphalt, across the street from my porch, the upper unit. Her jaws didn’t line up. The blood in her throat explained the drowning meow. Or it could have been Zorro, the other cat, who had seen it all. Her eyeballs were popped out like a surprised character in a cartoon. I wrapped her in my bath towel, still damp, and then pressed her over my chest where she used to knead at night, digging her way through skin and bones on a journey towards the heart. She was five. She was born next to my bed, on the left side.
Her body was still warm. I waited for a break in the traffic and sat on the blood stains where she died, still tacky. I crossed my arms, legs, and closed my eyes. I wished that she would reincarnate in a form like her name ‘Princess’, as if in a fairy tale, tonight. Then I wished that we could kiss for 40 days and 40 nights, in between saying “I love you,” over a million times.
I wait for the night to come so that I can fall asleep and dream of Princess, but it’s noon still. I’m at Kellogg Creek in the water up to my knees. It reminds me of some years ago when I woke up in the middle of the night and walked into the raging ocean, wanting to die. But not yet, tonight perhaps… Princess and I.
It’s dark now. I can see the red reflection of the blood as the cars pass by. I fear it will disappear. I quickly cross the street and hunch over the stains, facing home, like she was; cars look high. I raise my head and look at my porch where I was. I can hear myself calling: “Princess, where are you?” Then I say; “I am here daddy, I’m coming.” Cars are powerful. “Don’t they see me waiting here? My master is calling me. I want to go home. I wish they would stop.” The headlights are bright.
I remember that the tenants below me had moved out. I wouldn’t have to worry about screaming or burying my head in the pillow all night. And yes… there’s still the night.
I will also have to work tomorrow. But that’s okay, because visitors come from all over the world at my work. It will be exciting. I will ask each lady if she’s the Princess; the spirit in reincarnation. Perhaps they will call me “an old fool, a lunatic–who’s stuck in a past experience,” but I will know. I’ll know by the sway of her hips, long neck, jealous eyes, and the nails like claws. “Please” I will request, “My chest, on the left side.” She will say “I know.” “Will you sing for me” I will ask, “sing something in the same frequency that of a purr.”
It’s a full moon tonight, with the same eyes, same nose, and the same crooked smile, up there. Go already, turn around the planet a few times. So, what’s the master plan, Mr. Moon? …but wait, don’t tell me, there’s still the dream, you know, Princess and I …at midnight.
THE NEXT DAY
It’s the second morning. Nothing happened last night that I’m aware of.
Once again as I kneel and place my hands over your blood, I would like you to know that you’re not gone, Princess. You’re not just a few pages in a book–but an eternal silence in between them.
I set you free, Princess. I’m grateful for that which gave rise to you, and I must honor ‘that’ which takes you back. But don’t worry about reincarnating for my benefit, Princess. Be an eagle if you like, be the wind, a light, and go explore other stars. But be in peace, Princess. Good-bye my love.
THE THIRD DAY
It’s the third morning–the same weather, same time, and the same place where we were. I cross the street and wipe the dirt off from the blood stains. It shines back. The same cars pass by. They slow down. They look at my face. They can’t separate tears from the sweat appearing below my sunglasses. They see a man on the side of a road with a wet sponge. I hear loud music. “I forgive you, you bastards” I scream, I sob, but they don’t respond.
I come back and stand on the porch, looking across the street. Then I cross the street, crouch over the stains, and look at where I stood. I take my pen and paper–but can’t find the words to describe. And I can’t die. I ponder, “Maybe one of the drivers will understand, and I’ll be like she was.”
I stumble my way back to the porch and put the pen and paper down. Then I cross my legs, arms, and close my eyes. Back to where we were.
It’s summer in Oregon again. The sun is generous, the roses are in full bloom, and there’s a breeze in the direction of the hot asphalt. The crows are gathering for the bread pieces I’ve put out. I cross the street again–but leave my pen and paper behind.
There’s a deep grave next to my bedroom window, away from the street, on the left side. When you stand over it and look up you can see meteor showers at night. Some will melt in the atmosphere and others will fall into the North Pacific Ocean, close to Oregon. Then there will be tsunamis as high as the sky, in the shockwaves of the heart.
Princess and me