• Beatrice Iker

Poem #6: the black bear behind my house

there’s a black bear

sitting

in the woods, behind my house


i

love

her, and the slick tufts of hair

piled atop her

skull

the same one others put on their

mantle


not me, love

i swear

swear to appalachia

i just wanna keep you safe


i’ve seen her maul

does

from my bathroom window

the glass could not shield me from the

brutality

from her

brutality

and i’m glad for that


in humid august nights - air wet, soggy, heavy

when the moon hides

behind clouds

because she’s tired

i watch the bear

and I love my home


she is so kind, gentle in the way she

places her paws in the dewy grass

so soft

like she’s afraid of disturbing

the cemetery

for the bees


and yet she will rip the throat out of

the nearest living - I am serious

nearest living creature

given the chance

or half the chance

or no chance at all


i

love

her


she is perfect

the perfect

distraction


distraction from the, from it


there’s a feral fog

living

in my house


i won’t, can’t, shouldn’t go away


i like walking through my

kitchen

like a damsel in a haunted forest

in a book about love


i like walking down my

stairs

like I’m a siren on the night before Halloween

starved, vicious, so alluring I make people

ache


the bear is a good

distraction


she’s the perfect

distraction


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