Thursday, June 15, 2006
To Feed or Not
Last night I was torn… to feed or not to feed the cats that took residence nearby. Thought they’d leave after vacancy buzzed on then cooled off for a week. Young mother neon emerald ojos and 2-3 kittens hiding in damp dirt in adobe shade. Mother and 2-3 kittens without food or water. What would help/hurt more? Feeding or not? Images of my grandfather 60 years ago, a block away from here, making rafts for my mom’s cat and the newborn kittens… putting mews on board and sailing them down the canal as all the youngest children, hungry themselves, scream in horror. Last night I knew it was time. I began with water hose and filled a coffee cup with water. Then left a handful of dry cat food.
At midnight, curious if they’d eaten, I walked out and saw a headless bird (maybe a small hawk because much larger than an Inca dove or pigeon) glistening in the yard, kittens scurrying away from it at the sound of the door. Feathers. I feared little heads buried in that wet open neck, feared the morning bones, the bottom of my shoes, the morning remains, red teeth, ligaments, my naivete, neighbor's roosters headless next, myself half carnivorous without the initial knife or plucking. Only comfortable strumming. Went back in and watched some of the feast from blurry window before going to bed.
Sated. Then gone. Everything disappeared by morning. No visible stain or hard ivory glimmer. Maybe two downy underfeathers. A corn kernel. The sky all hot dust this afternoon. The afternoon all dusty hot sky.
All day Lucie Brock Broido’s “Rome Beauty” from The Master Letters runs through me. The place “where all the demons / Dine collectively on game, the momentous dumb / Switching of the great silvery utensils...”
Hawks, kittens, dust, violence, life, spirits, spit--here then gone
“When hunger dulls / … / I will / Be beautiful, gazelle.”