Prey Drive by Tamara Madison

The dog trembles at the window
every muscle tense under his golden coat
as he watches the cat lick
its long, crutch-like leg.


Does he imagine what he might do
if he could finally have that cat?
Is he planning some future deed –
the pounce, the furry soft belly
clamped in his powerful jaw
the frenzy of shaking with his terrible head –
or is he merely caught up in the passion
of observation?


I think of the ice cream
that lies in wait on the freezer shelf
trembling in its carton, coldly plotting
the ambush:  as you round the corner
it will punch the door open
fly out of its dark recess
hurl itself down your startled throat
assault you with its voluptuous fatness –


There will be no question then
of who is master, who is prey
no indication of a struggle;
only the spent carton holding the tired spoon
will remain, the victim having crawled off
stupefied, to the dim bedroom where sleep
will claim its own undefended prey.

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