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
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.