My cat recently began chewing gum like a sailor, is slowly developing a drinking problem, making me believe he is trying somehow to be human, especially since he stole my library card and emptied the shelves of Hemingway, whom he reads in a sickly yellow armchair, sucking on a bendy straw like a sore tooth or an idea. All the alcohol in my refrigerator makes the backlight cast a faint gold like the interior of a vintage russian doll or a cracked hermit crab shell, which reminds me that my cat no longer hides in his cat castle, making the purchase feel like that of all the leftover birthday candles in the pack. Marjorie, if I wake up with my cat under the covers like a nondominant hand or lost luggage or a child who uses the curtains as a hiding place, what do I say? I’ve already used the now-I-have-to-wash-the-comforter argument, which seemed as certain as a lamp switch since cats hate water, but I guess all bets are off. As if the cartographer lost the first draft of the map. I even found him guiding a toy boat from end to end of the bathtub. He’s learned to swat at the globe.
Tyler Raso studies English and Religious Studies at Kenyon College. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poetry Prize, and his poetry has been featured in The London Magazine, Off the Coast, and elsewhere.