Poem Hunter
JN ((1969 -) / England)


Poem By J.L. Nash

My boyfriend said the other night that if I hadn’t been there
he would have eaten the tin of cat food from his cupboard.
He doesn’t have a cat.

There has never been a cat in that house and yet
I have noticed a tin of catfood on the middle shelf,
slightly to one side of the condensed milk in the pantry.

It had been there for some time but since when
I really cannot say.

At a push I could imagine eating top quality dog food.
I mean, those chunks of meat, that gravy
the wonderful advertising campaigns.

It is perturbing,
no matter how many ways I try to think around it
that he would have eaten the cat food,
being hungry and too lazy to go shopping,
if I had not been there.

Telling me should give him bonus points for honesty.
But to be honest – it is still worrying me.
Like a nagging scratchy kitty litter tray kind of noise in my head.

He’s often said that food is just fuel that
he doesn’t really care what he eats – although he does
he likes no blends of things, no subtle hints of flavour
And there are no subtle hints of flavour in cat food
just fish.

Even if your cat has just consumed a tin of turkey special whatnot,
Your cat’s breath will before too long still smell of fish

And I suppose I should be thankful that he didn’t eat
the tin of catfood as there would have been no kissing for me that night –
And like the sickly trace of old chip fat
A particular flavour you never want to take the risk on again
Could have been on his lips
But it wasn’t
and so I am sort of grateful but
Still there’s that scratch scratch scratch

Then there was the time that I was sick
On the fifth day of my confinement
I rang him to say – I don’t feel like going out to the movies but
ring me when you get home
It was the answer machine that answered me
11 o’clock came and went,
Still he hadn’t rung to see
if I needed escape in the form of laughter from my
variety of virus laden moments

I must confess it was at this point
I did begin to wonder whether
in a fit of hurried hunger,
He had eaten the cat food and was
In absentia
Locked in a marathon of stomach cramps
Putrid belching

and did I want it to happen?

On that night… a little voice says …

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