Tuesday, 10 April 2018


We told the one about the bear in the woods.

A green ribbon around his throat. A mouth
full of gladiolas. A single cracked tooth.

We didn’t mean to pull the ribbon

but you know how it is. You ask and you ask
and still the bear says no.

Besides, it was the way he came from the river.

Salmon-gleamed like the girl at the last saloon
her skirt hitching and winking.

His skull as fast and yellow as the moon.

Now I sleep with the bear’s tooth
beneath my pillow. My heart thrashing at footfall.

The reek of pollen and meat in the black.

We gather round the torch, tell the one
about the door left open.

The bear would not come but we invited him

with that tug. We said we were curious
but the truth is I knew what would happen.

Can you hear it?

Hot breath and fish bones on canvas. The tent
flickers and I raise my hand to the door.

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