Big Cages
Kim Chinquee

She slept with the tiger, touching his fur and resting on his shoulder. He was meaty and gentle, with big teeth he only showed with a yawn. She woke from a dream about a burglar and felt the tiger's paw on her arm, and she wondered if there was a boy, her boy in the next room. Not really a boy now. He was a man with a stuffed bear, and the stuffed bear was getting up to use the bathroom. She looked at her tiger -- she'd watched Discovery and that mirage, the circus, tigers in big cages, a man, a bear, a trapeze artist. She heard flushing from the bathroom. She started to get up to check if the bear was real and was her son a boy or man now? She moved closer to the tiger and pulled herself under him like a blanket, hearing his heart thump evenly.