cradled in the crook of your arm. Your hand
flat on the sternum feels it rise and fall:
the little catches of snores, like
the sudden shift of weight in a canoe.
You go on working, of course,
sorting through the muscles of the neck
with your other hand, for all the world
as if you were on solid ground.
But you are launched
on the wide water of sleep, and the ripples
wander wider, lapped behind but running ahead
in circles that need not ever end.
You do not rest your head on their breast:
you do not travel with them,
You do not lay your own troubles down
and fall asleep; you do not wake together
after a sweet ten hours' sleep
to find yourselves each with four sweet paws
stretching your new cat bodies,
catching with your new cat noses, lifted to morning,
scents dull human snouts have never known.