Doubt
  
by Vievee Francis

     my reflection, the bear in the mirror.
     Doubt you’ll do a thing about it.
     Doubt you know what you did. You
     know what you did. Doubt my hair
     will stop thinning. Mange. Yes. Mange.
     Doubt my thumbs will remain opposable,
     my ability to hold on to anything, or
     find the right word, the word to call you
     back. But you are a city person and want no
     part of the forest I inhabit. Doubt
     you’ll stop shooting the horse. Fucking horse.
     I was a horse once, but no one rode me, I
     was sent straight to the glue factory and reborn
     a bear. Look at my fur. My slick maw. Don’t
     you smell me coming. A bear’s scent never leaves
     the mind. Don’t doubt what you are seeing and
     don’t doubt it’s something to be afraid of.
     Doubt you could gather enough courage to save
     your life. You think I’ll eat you up. Swallow you
                                                                                        whole.
     Don’t doubt it. Don’t mind if I do. It was you who
     fed the bear despite the signs. Who sits now
     so uncomfortable in your chair and you
     want to blame a bear for her hunger. Now,
     like a human I am given to doubt. I don’t trust you.
     Just look at your rug. All that dark fur. All those shoeprints.