Metaphor Zoo
by Jaimie Carlson Jaimie Carlson

Jaimie Carlson is an amateur poet who has had works published in Apparent Magnitude, Tangents, and Poets Online. She enjoys softball, the works of Isaac Asimov, and playing with her pet Maltese.

Step right up
here to the glass
nothing says that quite
like a clear invisible wall
glinting passively-aggressively)

and see,
ladies and gentleman,
the Zoo for Endangered Metaphors

They've come a long way for your enjoyment—from the
South Seas, the library, Neptune—anywhere
too far for you to go.
Too far for you to coax your ego
or next door.

Locusts have bitten them
Floods have deluged them
(there—a spotting of the rare
Biblical allusion!
once everywhere,
common as socks.
Now rapidly dying
like locusts drowning
in a clashing of wrath and mixed metaphors)

Construction has
destroyed their habitat,
owls blinking with marble eyes
from reproachful ghosts of trees

The abstract of an oil spill
pouring out;
the cloudy lead of vague sympathy
placed in our humble crucible
for a second—just a second!—transformed into fools' gold
(that's what you pay for, you know)

as you watch our
love-like-roses, our
death-like-sleep, our
rage-of-Achilles, our
and struggle against torrents,
clouds of insects

But one day
the locusts will be cicadas,
seven years and dead
falling to the zoo's flashy
cages themselves

The water will worm its way into language-loam
fertilizing the ground
(quick before that metaphor
goes extinct too—
we'll develop plastic plants
or who knows what in the wordforsaken future)

they will be worming weeds
and mustard seeds
climbing vines
redwood trees
(Google that if you have to)

the everpresent
orange sign:
(Human Thought: Under Construction. Detour)

and a garish lighted arrow
pointing off through this thicket

of obscure weedy verbs
and archaic nouns
musty rich petals.

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