‘Cat’: a portrait poem

Direct, assertive, perfectly formed stories at the ready, should she bump into you
Eyes locking solidly onto yours
Shocking, outstanding, unbelievable
everyday tales
all elevated to what is now
a hobby of mine
stopping on the stairs on my way up to bed from late shifts on a bar,
to listen intently, interestedly, though tiredly and begrudgingly,
to her honed storytelling set.
Pronounced, pursed lips posing like cautious, fastidious serfs to her determined teeth,
delivering vital gossip and anecdotes
Hair pulled behind her ear frequently, and with such superior precision that I can almost hear the hair pass gratingly over her fingernail, her teeth gritted, showing through her mouth and cheeks,
she almost rolls her eyes.
Something in the way she eats:
Food is fast, perfunctory, never relished or enjoyed.
Almost painful.
She champs quickly, rushing every meal out of her way,
like an impatient impression of a horse.
She fiddles also; assembles intricate pieces of feminine adornment
with quirk and delicacy,
but functionally,
with the same studiously poised skin and opinionated fingers – she knows the best way to do it,
and she won’t watch you struggle for long.

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