Ekphrastic poems look at pieces of art and attempt to fill in the story behind the work. That isn’t the most accurate definition, but it’s the one I’m working with today!
The cat, foreground, a bend and flow of fur, ending in a paw on the chair.
Its face lifting, white chin and cheek resting, and a smile curling there.
The hand, so pale, cool flesh caressing the swirled lines of hair.
The profile of the woman – no eyes, no mouth, a fractured ear –
A portrait should, while freezing lines and colors, set forms clear.
And yet here we see at best the cat, a certain happy feline pose,
A woman’s hand, so pale and dead, a head of graying hair, and a nose.
What goes on beyond the beige background? What is she looking at?
Perhaps across the room, a TV casts green light and cohosts chat
Or someone washes dishes while others walk through rooms laughing.
It could be that nothing is happening at all and this baffling
Quiet photo is just that, a moment caught between a cat and his true love.
Beyond that nothing much is clear, except for one thing I am sure of –
Purring is definitely happening here, and these two bodies are in love.