by Hadley Preganz

I know someone who likes feeling afraid.
Her favorite stories are about young people
with childhoods more lost than her own.
She speaks in soft purrs, lounges carelessly,
brushing against shoulders. But her wide eyes
rock from side to side, a rapid swiftness,
ready for the sky to drop suddenly.

Chasing her long, mindful tail,
she paws at specks in the air,
twirling around in long skirts that
touch the grass, spinning fast enough
to push time forward,
just so she can be twenty-three
or thirty-four, and die already.

In purple trees, she grins at the idea of
eating powered sugar and making her own pop-up books.
If her fur was white, she would be called Evelyn.
Brushing on sharp corners, she marks herself
with new stripes.
She likes the way they drift across her back
and long under her belly.

She may not always land on her feet,
but like any wise cat,
she will live forever.

Wild and Feral
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