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Ursus Arctos

“Some kind of belief still runs off me in strings.” —Sandra Lim

A pregnant bear slips out cubs in her den 
two thousand miles from here. And here I sin, 

the taste of fennel in my hair. The cubs will latch
until fat and gold. I try to wake each morning

with the focus of digestion, an indistinguishable
alloy dusting my eyes. The black tick of waking

to a man who can’t say he believes in me, but whose
scent makes me rip every curtain off its rod. What 

I mean is I keep waking up steeped in renewed resentment
for the men who tell me they like confident women over whom

they have no need to control or labor. My pits ripen,
moldered oats in darkness. Bears in hibernation use every

ounce of energy to live in deep sleep, nary a shit or piss
wasted. My mother tells the story of the bear that visited

her campsite, its hulking shoulder in menacing silhouette,
the toothpaste it licked clean from the thrashed tube. We kill

on site such offenses, the unslakable being who cannot survive
our constructed comforts. We define loss on small terms: a set 

of keys unglowing in a crevice, orange panties crammed between
drawers. Cubs sit by the river’s low tides. I am not hard to know.

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