Pantherwife No. 3

A bomb made of words landing in the midst of us startles us from our sleepy reveries and we react in our separate ways but with a kind of unity as each part falls in with the others like a voice in a fugue so the Marigold Woman cries out and clasps claws fingers around her forearms with her nails digging into the flesh and the moonbuggy is for once quite overset with her breath coming harsh and clotted and heart-pounding its echoes through pained lungs in a savage mimicry of the words emergency room and respiratory distress and like the little figure we all envision the writer’s whole body curls subtly but spasmodically and her arms hug herself and the prophet sees all this and thinks I must be strong but all she can do is repeat meaningless utterances to the party in the hopes that the sounds will become words and the words will become prayers and the smoke of that incense will rise to heaven and over the sea the Almighty will look down on the black thick mucus that seems in our fevered brains to stop up his breathing and somehow or other he will be all right.

Hold me, panther lover.