You slipped beneath the small space and crawled atop our deck in one fluid flex,
as if you were just returning from making your rounds, worried we would forget
to leave that sliding door open for your mischief.
Only we didn’t have a sliding door or a deck at our old place,
and the maps drawn by your paws are the blueprints to the neighborhood we left behind.
I tensed, stilled, eyes widening to take in your mystery. You always wanted attention.
Your muscles rippled under your smooth, luscious coat,
black like the night that shines from the bay when the moon hangs heavy,
suspended on a delicate string that swings with the tide.
Except you always hated water,
unless it was poured into the bowl we made with our hands.
You made no sound. You never needed to because we always knew—
One turn around the patio table, where we used to eat our dinners.
muscles bunching, whiskers flicking, confidence thrumming,
and in the next moment you flew gracefully onto the wooden fence,
down to the dark loam, your fluffy black tail lagging behind like a playful shadow,
as you disappeared
under the hedges.
See you soon, Муся
tap, tap, tap—tap, tap,
is code for U + I, or
you + my food, now