The first cat I have not eaten
when the first cat dropped out of a Baudelaire,
I've touched her gingerly, with one finger, like the E.T.
tensely soft she was,
a life jacket hating the water.
in the myopic view, shine on the outside, darkness on the inside,
the night bath for beginners.
I've asked: what is it?
the thing that, once you wipe off a lot of dust
curls up, the mother suggested.
it has plastic eyes, is made of velvet, the sister concluded.
the slippers, the father gladdened, but could not find
a hole big enough for his feet.
the cat created nothing but harm:
with its claws she tattooed light dots on trouser legs,
with its tail she drew out laughter out of the palms of our hands,
its paws designed the tiles.
nohow could we have mellowed at her presence,
we had to let the gypsies steal her.
from the venus' mound in a forest they've picked their tents
taking them toward the opposite side of a triangle,
as if toward the tip of the Balkans.
some years later they've returned,
those same ones, it seemed, but you could never tell with the gypsies;
always the same and never quite the same.
the cat, expectedly, was not with them any more,
in those dark gorges only a Kusturica
since then I've become much smarter,
whenever a cat drops out of a Baudelaire
I swallow it smoothly.
with an Eliot's it's somewhat harder, one needs to Chew.
© translated by Boris Gregorić