I step outside for a smoke
hopeful for a glimpse of her, and yes!
she’s basking in the afternoon sun
all tawny gold, her hair the color of leaves.
She stretches a shapely leg,
lifts it up to lick her silky fur.
My breath catches
at the sight of such raw beauty,
but she hears the match strike,
turns toward me with a snarl.
She moves away quickly,
crawls into her lair under the house.
At least I can tell it won’t be long now,
she’ll have our kit before the cold.
Afterwards, I’ll bring it in.
She won’t like it,
doesn’t like me, doesn’t like
to be touched, but she’ll allow it
for the sake of her kit—our kit.
If only she were human,
she’d love me as I do her.
But she’s a hominid,
more feline than woman,
product of modern science
and sold like the rest for pets,
sex toys or concubines.
She doesn’t understand
what true love is.
AUTHOR BIO: Marge Simon’s works appear in publications such as Strange Horizons, Niteblade, DailySF Magazine, Pedestal Magazine, Dreams & Nightmares. She edits a column for the HWA Newsletter and serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees. She has won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award, the Bram Stoker Awardâ„¢, the Rhysling Award and the Dwarf Stars Award. Collections: Like Birds in the Rain, Unearthly Delights, The Mad Hattery, Vampires, Zombies & Wanton Souls, and Dangerous Dreams. Member HWA, SFWA, SFPA. www.margesimon.com