Manx Cat by Dan MacIsaac
A latecomer, by dark, the full moon obscured by storm. The straggler slunk up the Ark’s wet ramp, lanky tail slick with rain. Last in. Mostly. The tom paused at the sill, sniffing the peppery scent of cypress beams and the stench from a hold rank with beasts. The great door avalanched. Laggard tail—severed. The cat yowled as if torched and his bloodied tail slid into the Flood. His stubbed descendant still feels the sheared part curling across a satin flank. Strayed tail turned phantom. Haunting a long line of maimed hunters. Each cat a wounded ratter in steel-toed slippers. Eyes aglow like twin moons, the loner lurks along colonnades and alleyways, led by his own pale lights, his eclipsed tail ever twitching.
Dan MacIsaac’s poetry has appeared in The South Carolina Review, Stand, The Malahat Review, and The American Journal of Poetry. His poetry has received awards including the Foley Prize from America Magazine.
Photo by id23