My cat lives on the roof now.
Having discovered the opening between
window frame and exhaust fan, she spends
her time on top. When I first saw her aloft
I laddered up to rescue her, endangering myself
in the process until, on second sighting, I realized
she preferred it there. Now I just nod when I see her,
crouched, serious, staring savagely down at the world
below. I assume she stalks squirrels, birds, avoids wasps,
falling limbs and sudden winds—hunkers down to defecate
when and where she pleases—and approve her feral wisdom
—though in this feasting and communion with moths, moons,
setting suns and shadows, she has become another—rarely eats
her store-bought cat food, rarely uses her downstairs litter box,
but cries for attention upon descending the stairs each morning,
demanding to be petted, stroked, worshiped and adored—
as anyone grown accustomed to thunder, murder,
mystery, rain and magic must.
by Matt Dennison
Editor’s Note: This poem’s tidy line breaks belie the feral rebelliousness of the narrative’s feline, almost as if the speaker is still trying to gently herd her into order (and failing, of course, because… cat).