she wonders why she was abandoned
to the deadly chimeras

she expires

the Bengal Tiger with the tail
of a Burmese Python

the Harpy Eagle with the head
of a faceless woman

in the stupor of the Predator
trails of smoke and weather
billow in her breath

they coalesce

somewhere in the vapor of the tortured forms
is the answer

but she cannot find it

she fills her pipe and lights a match
she breathes the monsters into clouds
she licks her lips and savors ash

the taste of violence she inspires

by My Shadow is a Cat
Poem by Peter Hlinka
Art by Kaori Mitsushima