Instead of a Sports Car, the Middle-Aged Poet Gets a Kitten by Julie Paul

The metaphor is hungry. The metaphor is growing in leaps and bounds, big enough to spring from bed to chair to bookshelf, then climb. Things are beginning to fly to the ground. The metaphor still uses a baby voice but when it wants to go outside it cranks the volume. The metaphor grabs treats, toes, hearts. The metaphor is slender enough so that you can feel its ribs. When you pick it up it’s as light as a sweater and just as soft, but it has the bone structure of a behemoth. The metaphor is a hunter, adept at little bugs right now but it’s got mouser written all over it. The metaphor looks at everything as possible food or toy. It wants you to pet it; it reaches for you. In the silent house, it sneaks up behind you and jumps on your back. You scream but your fright does not scare it away for long. The metaphor sleeps deeply after meals, and dozes in sunbeams, but zooms around the house in the wee hours. It stands on your chest and its tiny feet hit all the tender spots, the ones to press when anxious. It purrs on your throat and you ache with love and a startling loneliness. The metaphor has the hunger-driven fortitude to make you weaken; you feed it on demand. The metaphor will not stop growing. This is the smallest it will ever be.

— from Juniper Volume 8, Issue 1