Every night, the cat from down the street squats
outside my door, tail whipped round her paws,
quiet as the dark breath of the house.
She’s not here for food or petting. I crouch
on my side of the letterbox. A rumbling miaow
seeps through the slot, clever as the thick rain
that squeezes past the faulty window seal.
The radiator purrs into the wall. I curl
on the doormat, still smeared with the mud
ground in by my boots when I dashed back
from the shops. My path was clear then, before
she dragged the night in like a dead bird.
She brings me gifts. They are struggling
in her jaws. If I hold still, perhaps
she’ll go away. I hear the slap slap of licking,
as she flattens her fur with her tongue.