Says, we live in a closed system.
Says, if that bear
and her three cubs
don’t eat us,
some other couple out for a vacation hike
will be meat, dead meat,
never to reach the top of the Diamond Mountain.
The bear feints, false-charges, two strides;
cubs black-blurring into the undergrowth
The first law says, if I tell you to run,
and then charge the bear with my bare teeth,
bite through her thick, sun-platinumed fur,
I will become the bear.
And the bear will become me.
And if you say you love me,
then what I’m feeling must be love too.
Remember to breathe while you run,
Watch the clouds you create as you exhale:
the eternal hesitation.
Says, the fish stays in the river
until I pry him
gripping and slipping
into the light.
The fish is not afraid
of my clumsy-razored-train-wreck claws,
my insensitive eyes.
It says that if I sit
just before the falls
and eat only the fat and eggs,
ripping them free with a shake of my head,
gurgling the rainbow oil,
and letting the bodies drift
for the cubs to finish off,
I will tap into the amaranthine
collective memory of the river.
Begins with the fact
that when something goes in hot
it stays hot.
when something goes in cold
it stays cold;
a car door slams louder in February
than it does in May.
It ends with a warning: Change
is impossible. I’m inside
the car; the bear
I could be is impossible;
keep arms and legs inside
at all times; grimace through cramping muscles;
cross fingers and breathe deeply for relaxation;
it will only hurt until numbness is reached:
it will only hurt after the second time around.
Has to do with a death scream,
a klaxon clanging,
a hammer and a firing pin.
It has something to do
with the funeral procession,
in the mist, between slumping mills;
a black bear feeling the bite
of a perfectly located blue bug.
But it also has something to do with disillusionment.
The man who once wore the clown suit
is really just a man.
The man once in the ice cube
is just a man too;
it’s just that
somewhere along the way
he lost his ability to feel,
to empathize, and wrapped himself in a bearskin.
must wait for a very warm day,
for the clouds to blow off the summit,
a sun’s ray to save him.