This is a mausoleum of the sleeping.
On the plump quilt the cat is a stole,
flatter than might be expected.
Silence barely fills out its fur.
Bones are most unlikely.
If dreams haunt the faint rise of its downy head,
time does not know about them.
The room is still as dust,
that shroud of skin cells and micrometeorites
secreted on the boards under the bed.
Each piece of furniture pretends to stasis.
Yet the earth is turning,
yearning for the explosions of the sun.
Very soon history will return here for everyone.
There is nothing that can be done about it.
Perhaps the cat will open its eyes, brain afire,
and insert itself into the Egyptian night
just to kill something.
One of those wretched and panicked species:
mice, rabbits, crickets, moths.
Or perhaps it will continue its indifferent sleep,
emptying even the stars of their meanings,
disquieting us into worship.
Maria Takolander’s most recent poetry collection is The End of the World (Giramondo, 2014). She is an associate professor in writing and literature at Deakin University in Geelong, Victoria