I don’t hear little voices
my own voice is enough.
Trailing after me in my dreams
saying my cat is too thin
and that I forgot to lock up
before leaving.
Huskily, I whisper lullabies
under the shower stream
begin with tales of cats
under ladders daring you,
just daring.

But your contribution is
reading its own elegy,
fast forward twenty years to
when self-narration is a pastime
and your cats forget the sound of your voice.
“Life is so hard.”
One will say, dressed in stripes
with a beret.
“The other cats,
they don’t know hard times.”

A feline social hierarchy
has sprouted in my grey matter.
They write the news
on dried fish skins
with the blood of mice
in their pens and look at us
with mixed feelings when we
step naked from the shower
speaking in tongues.