4 cats

when I bathe her at night
each time is new
sometimes she wants to drink first
sometimes to preen
until she doesn’t
and she’s gone

her head still small as my palm
usually runs away
but when she doesn’t
she curls up and rolls over
in newspaper
so i can rub her chin

looks me in the eye
rolls and stretches his full length
white along his belly
he plants his feet on mine
so i can work his back
then flops over
so i can do the other side

long and loose
presses his head into my hand
and looks, searching, into my eyes.
i look back the same way,
still searching