Here on my lap
a long sheet of paper,
foolscap, flowing away at the top,
full of phrases I no longer understand
yet seem almost to grasp.
The scroll, a shadowy animal,
slides from me to the floor
and I recall, in the act of its fall,
my cat, who moved in just that way
from lolling about on my chest.
I know that both are lost
and all I have is the moment
when briefly I still held
whatever it was the words meant
and that black ghost.
Mark Valentine lives in Yorkshire near the Leeds-Liverpool canal. His poetry has been published in PN Review, Agenda, Volume, ink, sweat & tears, Poetry Bus and elsewhere. A chapbook, Astarology, was published by Salo Press in Summer 2021.