Pleading with Bliss

by Susan Olding

—after Denise Levertov

Bliss, I see you, skirting my shed
like a feral cat. Hiding underneath
the lavender, scouting the yard’s
perimeter, slinking away at the smallest noise—
please, don’t go.

Can I coax you
into my kitchen? I’ll fix you
some chicken livers. I’ll set you up
a snug bed with the best down
comforter I can afford.

You fear I will maul or
trap you if you let yourself get
too near. You think I will scream
and carry on and force you to drop
the mouse. But I’ll prop my door open
and wait and wait

and wait until you feel like coming
in. And if, when I bend closer,
you scratch me, I’ll stroke you
behind your mangled ear,
and staunch the blood
with my mouth.

— from Juniper Volume 4, Issue 2