My cats, neutered and plump,
have a new friend.
Tiger-striped and fierce,
with a neck measurement bigger than mine,
he keeps his balls
in a fluffy purse between his legs,
as he stalks and sprays
around the garden
boastfully bow-legged and macho.
Yesterday he was in the house.
And my coat,
left hanging over the kitchen chair,
now has a feral, behind the dustbin, pong,
because I am late and hurrying,
and heating up a little,
I seem to be in a cloud of it.
I reach the library just before it closes
and hand over my books.
The staff stiffen,
eau de tomcat in a tropical mist about us,
frost forming over their public smiles.
Returning from the shelves I find them
bunched together as if for safety.
Their nostrils flare,
as they surreptitiously check out the borrowers,
and even each other,
before as a last resort
they move jerkily out of freeze-frame,
pick up the books on the returns trolley
and sniff them
one by one.
©James M Nash
From Coma Songs, Grassroots Press, 2003, 2006]