A Stray Cat Bites Me (I Am Convinced I Am Going to Die of Rabies)

What convinced me to drag the cat
from under the wrought iron patio chair?
I saw his fear, the fangs bared.
The kind of fear that comes
in a fog and you see yourself
outside of yourself, a dream.
And what did I have.
The false bravery of too much chardonnay. For weeks
after my racing heart, shortened breath,
the certain death that waited. Friends
told me I would be fine,
but night after night
I left a bowl of cat food on the deck
hoping to lure the stray back
so I could check for a foaming mouth.
Night after night
my thumb rubbing the nearly unnoticeable scar,
knowing there was no cure.
Not for this.

This is a reprint of work originally published in Fleshed.

Leigh Anne Hornfeldt, a Kentucky native, is the author of East Main Aviary, The Intimacy Archive, and Fleshed (forthcoming from Winged City Chapbooks, 2016). She is the editor at Two of Cups Press and a recipient of a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. In 2013 her poem “Laika” placed 2nd in The Argos Prize competition and in 2012 she received the Kudzu Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in journals such as Spry, Lunch Ticket, Foundling Review, and the Journal of Kentucky Studies.

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