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At the end of a happy block
Dusk shrink-wrapping the houses
The gray cat Alone crouches
Patient as stone
Tall as a half-sky
Wide as reflected time
His eyes, slitted, yellow
Wait for me to come home
Watch me advance, retreat, avoid
Until, succumbing to sleep
I enter my rooms
Locking the door behind me
To hinder thieves and freedom.

Silent air slaps my face
With four walls.
I hold my breath to listen
While all the food I don’t need
And the friends I could have met
Fail to shield me from those claws.

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