Beloved Domestic Longhair by Andrea Clark

I learned from Kasha,
is knowing how to love 
and how to ask for love.

I met her on a date. Back then
I called her walnut brain.
What seemed like small-headed
density soon revealed itself as fierce devotion.

She placed a plaintive
paw on my hand or arm to claim:
I desire your full attention, as is right.  

Her supermodel backbone
so bendy, almost divisible.
Like a planarian. She loved all the
people at once, most of all her papa, who tapped
at the computer while she lazed on his chest. He always
knew when she was full of tsuris. Yiddish,
after all, was her love language.

Then she put her keppe down,
for the very last time
between us on the bed in the sun,
two weeks before she turned 17.