left alone atop the black diamond,
my fear cat makes her descent paw by paw.
she pauses to sniff every wiped out
snowboarder, limbs akimbo,
every knotty burr above the white.
cats relish the height, as they are,
but steadily she meanders down
the infinite slope, claws tucked
in the landscape of the dread
I cannot forget, dangling sure feet
before leaps off irregular rock,
impeccable form borne of
a million evolutions. at the base
her question mark tail eschews
resort lights to find me head-first
in my ice gully. her sandpaper
tongue scours me until my thousand cuts
seep all over in regret; I avert
her diamond gaze. still she pokes
icy ears through a tattered resistance
and kneads until my heart is her
desired nest. the sky darkens to match
her fur, starless, the air a humming warmth.
© 2019 Hal Y. Zhang