A Poem by CL Bledsoe

I have a secret for you: the bears
are dead. We killed them to make

our fur-steeped vodka, wore
their teeth as shoes click-clicking

on the asphalt until our soles bled.
That means no one is going

to save you, no matter how deep
the snow gets. Wolves might eat

the sorrow as it leaks, warm,
from your eyes if you leave out

enough meat to lure them. The Lord
God Bird might beat a hole into

your wormy skull to relieve
the pressure if you stand in enough

forests, hair filled with the fattest
grubs, but the bears are gone. There’s

a story that one was seen, lying, fat
and black/white/brown/red/blonde

on the bank of a frozen river, bloody
fish bellies splayed on the died-back

grass. The trees there were silent, which
makes you wonder who told the story.

CL Bledsoe is the assistant editor for The Dead Mule and author of fifteen books, most recently the poetry collections Trashcans in Love and King of Loneliness and the flash collection Ray’s Sea World. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

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