The bear, my big self, lumbers
into hibernation, relishing the fit
of a grass-padded den and winter dreams.
I’m feared for my teeth,
but I’m the one who runs away,
happy to climb any tree that will hold me.
The crab is my small self.
No heart, no soul.
All claws and crust, ambition, critique.
I scuttle and pinch. I crack. I’m cracked.
If I release my middle name into the mix,
I find a barnacle never letting go of the past,
a bee keen on variety, a stoic camel,
comatose clam. Eel and elk, seal and snake,
lamb and mare and yak—what do they want?
I watch my bear and crab crawl the night sky:
rectangular dippers, an upside-down Y.
They are outside and within me,
my nemeses, my guides,
my water, my earth.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4.
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