The phosphorescent paths of snails beguile
night-visioned predators into pursuit.
Imagining a meal, to no avail
cats stalk the dew-bright garden under stars
through lily bed and undergrowth into
the ornamental rose. Fast prisoners
in thwarted appetite they yowl alone
until we stagger downstairs sleep-confused
and barefoot pad across the humid lawn,
release them to entwine between our legs
long uncaressed by fingertips but smoothed
reanimate, and carry them to bed.
George Witte has published three collections of poetry: Does She Have a Name? (NYQ Books, 2014), Deniability (Orchises Press, 2009), and The Apparitioners (Orchises Press, 2005). New poems have been published in Antioch Review, Hollins Critic, Hopkins Review, Nimrod, Poetry Northwest, and Yale Review. He works as editor in chief of St. Martin’s Press.