White Cat Hit by a Car

Northridge Review, Vol. 1.2 (1983)

Jodi Johnson

"Is that your cat?" they said, pointing
To a rag of white on the roadside.
I went over for a closer look,
Thinking--no, it can't be, it looks almost gray--
The dark hair moving as if by wind
Or breath: ants.

The dead are so changed; earth-heavy, still.
I should bury the cat.  But the ground is hard;
I scratch out a shallow hole--a mouth.
I wonder whose face is under my shoe.

Instead, I tip the cat into a plastic bag.
Early the next morning, on my way to work,
I throw the white bag into a trash bin.
It crashes like a rock.

All that day I am afraid of my blood,
Crawling blue under my skin.  If someone
Slit the veins, it would pour out, tiny and dark,
Waving antennae.

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