The Wages of Sin

By Andrew R. Duckworth

I am always amazed by the black leopards,
When they’re most active in their enclosures.
They look like my house cat - a black cat
Perched on a side table looking out the window.

I’ve always enjoyed cats. I have two.
There is an urge I have to reach out
And stroke the leopard’s head.
But I know what such foolishness would give.

Before I realize, my hand would be pierced
By the clutching teeth, sharp like a dagger,
And I would be dragged into the enclosure
With an absolute certainty of death.

And, so I conclude, I would be a feast
In a darkened cave reserved for beasts.

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