My third cat can predict
the future.

She arranges her kill
in precise sparrow rows
and holds military funerals
on the front lawn.

She naps in the kitchen,
in the sun-warmed sink,
and awakes smelling of bleach and triumph.

The sight of dead birds tastes
like pennies on my tongue.
I think I once read
they don't use money in Bora Bora;
I wonder what regret tastes like there.

Maybe cats in paradise only hunt rodents.
Maybe that dawg don't hunt a-tall.

The rancid milk
of human pettiness
curdled my grandmother's skeleton.
She grew as thin as her disapproving lips,
always clenched like she was holding
a mouthful of pins.

Although her brain is tiny as a walnut,
I think my cat understands
that she is the third.
Fur the texture of Elizabeth Taylor's bathrobe,
she regards me with eyes of vengeful candy corn;
I'll have to forgive her to understand her complaint.

Stretching twice, she abandons my lap.
"Return your tray tables to their upright, locked position"
she reminds me as she saunters from the room.

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