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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Garbage Bear Is a Dead Bear

A Garbage Bear Is a Dead Bear 
by Natalie Eilbert


I have never written an ode but perhaps once
I attached it to the title of a poem but I can kid

none other than the occasional self when I say
I oded nothing. I drive around a corner to an

expanse, a real expanse, not my heighted speech
nor the elusive quality of pretty guesswork. I mean

flatlands across which you can see 75 miles in each
direction. I mean I am 9,500 feet above sea level

and Bet told me last night that the heart shrinks
and the lungs expand when you live long enough

in the southwest. I mean I was a cheap drunk.
I mean the heart loses mileage that the lungs gain.

The heart a cowered rabbit that does not do well
with hyperbole actualized. So when we went two

thousand feet higher of course a sign warned us
that a garbage bear is a dead bear, of course an image

of a silhouetted bear with a target in its center, yes
the bear who rummages our trash gets a bullet, yes

I couldn’t bring myself to cry because I was levitating
along an earth that had been killed and buried and

killed and buried a long time enough to find the
weapon good. I was inside the weapon I was inside

the dust I was inside the bones of each shot bear I
was the tongue of its Latin ursine I actic’d the act

of flanking space by crumbling I was the earth
obliterated and earth assembled of obliteration

I was the teeth inside the volcanic ash every tooth
I was the altitude sickness and depleted tank I stood

in a caesura of snow I wanted my heart to stop in
the jaws of a cougar I was all garbage and I would

be the one to kill the bear but I would rip out the
sky if it meant I might feel a bighorn tongue my

palm for its salts I mean the ode is a solution to
the mountain range. It is a lexicon, a lexicon, a lexicon.

2 comments:

Radish King said...

Animal God poem Brava...I feel this in my ribs.
Rebecca

bloof said...

My goodness my heart