Even Though I Love You Telling Me No by Jeanette Powers

My panther of the yellow eyes
and cagey pacing,
when your black body
stinking of meat
leapt back into bed
next to me
with your kamikaze purr
and then
when your huge paws
wrapped me in tight
to the lank of your body
teeth so very near
but no,
no, never touching
the neck I always
leave exposed for you

when you told me
you wanted to die like this
gripped in a savage cat’s embrace
face to face
with whiskers and fangs,
I wondered about the surety
of not leaving this life
alone.

We both know
this is the sort of question
without an answer.

How do I prove
I love someone?
Is it true my body
ends at the skin
and the wide, starry void
is separate from me?
How do you know
I’ll keep my promises?

Let’s stick to questions
with answers.

Are you here right now?
Am I in your feral arms?
Do we dream?

Yes, panther,
yes.

It is my pleasure.
                Open me
                              (hold me open)
with your elusive paws.

JeanettePowersBioPhoto
Jeanette Powers is an anarchist performance artist who uses poetry and art to question habitual behavior and to dismantle internalized obedience. She can most often be found near a river with her hound dog, Olly Mas. Connect with her at jeanettepowers.com or @novel_cliche
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