William J. Harris

Samantha Is My Negro Cat

Samantha is my
Negro cat.
Black with yellow eyes.
A big flat nose.
Thick features.
She came to me
from the street.
(A street nigger
with hairless ears.)
She's tough.
Been a mother too.
Has hard pink nipples.
(Yes, pink. She also has
a white spot on her neck.
She ain't pure. But
I don't care. I ain't no racist.)
She has a sad high ass.
Not much to look at
but as affectionate
as any girl who's
had a hard time of it.
"Bums," said the vet
a little too objectively,
"always respond to love."

Samantha rubs against
me, sits across my
lap, purring her short-circuited purr.
(Hey, Doc, there's a wire loose
in her purr box.)

Lady, this man is
going to treat you better
than the rest.
(You say you've heard that one before.)
We'll comfort each other
in the evenings
after supper, when we stare
out on the
cold and dark street.