The Dream of the Boy-Turned-Cat – Poem by Amy Alexander

dream boy cat

In my dream of the boy-turned-cat,

I don’t realize my heft,

the slow rise of the baby,

the ache of birth

or the tests.

He just appears,

sleeping and hungry,

indigo brow, black, wet hair,

yet when I go to feed him

I find his stripes.

I feed razors

and lift the orange and the white.

I tell the whole world,

“This son is mine.”

And they say,

“Why, we didn’t even realize you were carrying.”

The world always has such passion

for the 36-week bump.

There was no ache in animating

this feline child.

In the dream dictionary,

I read I am want to breathe air

into impossible beasts,

that I force together

things that should forever

be separate–

After all, cats would kill if they were larger.

So it’s best they curl into arms, a gentle rattle,

and never grow to the heights of men.

And men must never own teeth

that can kill on contact.

The dictionary tells me to pull back,

tells me I’m better off barren,

better off with neither boy nor pet

because the order of the world

issues forth from limitations