my cat walks diagonally
across a blank sheet
of standard paper
letter size, bright white
pristine and perfect

her paws, lightly soiled
by a basement adventure
leave a spotty trail

and i move
reckless with intent
to snatch up the page
so recently spotless

the box on the shelf
containing roughly
one thousand two hundred
exactly like it)

my kitty jumps
i spooked her
she casts me a glance
part hurt
part reproach
as she departs
and shakes the dust
from her feet

carefully now
i examine the paper
and the dusty gray footpath
bisecting its whiteness

i notice
the shape of each print
simple and flawless
the organic precision
of their placement

too late
i see these blemishes
as they are:
and perfect

and i move
brimming with intent
to be kind to my cat

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