Things in Light Poetry Series 2014: Robert Masterson8:58 PM
The cat said, "Yao" in a voice both plaintive and forlorn, a cry made for abandonment. He’d have seen some cats in his life, cats on the street, cats in the dry, dead stubble fields long harvested and mostly mouseless, cats dead in dumpsters, cats covered in scabs and parasites and open, pus-dripping sores, cooked cats on silver platters surrounded by cooked snakes—expensive servings of “Tiger Fights Dragon”—cats skinned multiple ways, cats killed by curiousity, cats landed on their feet to no purpose, fallen from too high and landed too fast. Cats wearing gold rings in their ears, tiny golden wire threaded through their delicate noses, collars, cuffs, harness, and halter and leash and chain.
"Do you even have the right to 'yao' like that?" he asked.
The value of a cat’s silence cannot be measured in coin. It measures itself.
Robert Masterson, professor of English at CUNY-BMCC in New York City, has authored Artificial Rats & Electric Cats, Trial by Water and Garnish Trouble. His work appears in numerous publications and websites, and he holds degrees from the University of New Mexico; the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado; and Shaanxi Normal University, the People’s Republic of China.