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Every spring,

when the birds come back,

the cats disappear,

and I wonder if they’re dead,

or gone wild,

chasing magpies and robins

until they’re so far from home

they either don’t know,

or don’t care to return.

There are cats

who come back to me in dreams,

and I wonder if it means they’re alive.

There are theories of dreams,

that they’re infinite

pieces of our perceptions,

some hidden, some obvious,

but jumbled together as we sleep

and experience sweet things

we never thought we knew,

or horror we didn’t know

we could imagine.

Often, I wonder which is real,

if the cats in my dreams

are as much themselves

as any of us living can be,

and, if we are all,

always chasing birds, 

wandering further and further

from some home.