Today's poem is by Lisa Allen Ortiz

Ursa Major

The bears again,
the coats of them, sheened claws—

a crush of bears down by the creek, and me
eating fish and pawing mud and rocks,

damp and growly, and maybe I was a bear
or maybe I was myself,

but anyway I pushed and dug between
the bears' slack skin, their swinging heads.

I thought: I've missed so much of you. Why do we plan
and mend when we have flesh and hair?

Baby, my longing for you swam in me
as if longing were a force

that lifted the bears and me above the trees
so we grunted and pawed the air,

sparks and embers and bellowing bears
keening through the vast odds of space,

and stars slid down my arms—and from
the dark height I could see you

curled like a wisp in our fog of bed,
the yellow light, tiny steps and trees,

and even from that height, even with
my honey-claws, I could not scoop you up—

not your slumber, not our house,
not the wrap of porch, our daughters

in their bunks, not the moths colliding
with the light. Nor could I whisper

with my inky lips and teeth,
my awkward bear-like tongue,

how much I want to keep—
and I know it's imperfect to be so close

but up there in the dark
where bears hunt planet fish, where nebulas

spin and distance shifts with time, it's so beautiful
and so terrifying. Wake up, Baby.

I want to tell you: this is normal. Every night,
a sky with bears made out of stars.

Copyright © 2016 Lisa Allen Ortiz All rights reserved
from Guide to the Exhibit
Perugia Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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