Panther

Yellow-eyed black at raising claws to slap

This one is nicer than my dream

WayneSL 1988

Gray unpainted pews in a gray unpainted station
hints of brown beneath the dust
no train, no bus.
The man in the pew ahead is holding
a huge black cat
long and thin, of silken soot.
He holds it like a baby at his shoulder,
rocking forward, pats its neck
and the cat glares back at you.
Rocking back they creak the pew
and the panther takes a swipe.

Taloned paw on snake-thin foreleg,
lifted high in graceful motion,
flung down, stretching out to strike,
but not quite reaching eye and lip
The wind of a near miss ruffles your hair
and all you can do is gag and stare
The yellow eye is welded to your own
and every slap comes closer…

Eighty Degrees at Dawn

The last few neighbors find beds
quail under mom
skink on a rock
Sun through Joshua spikes lights fruit.
This is a jubilee year.
Dew on Desert Rose
drips past thorns and leaves
to moist roots locked in Caliche.
Mist made taller by the mirage
gently, slowly fades
’til petals apart reveal a melting heart.