Karen Kunc   © 2011 All Rights Reserved

Bears at Bear Falls

What bears love is horseshoes, so lay out the courts.
They’re terrible tippers, except at the bar.
Bears dig karaoke. They don’t come to breakfast.
They always prefer that you don’t heat the pool.
They never get waxed, but like hot stone massages,
fucking in elevators, game hens with rice.
Bears can expense it; they’ll sign what you give them.
Just throw out the bedspread and upcharge the bill.
Surely, that waitress will heal by the winter.



The Warming of Greenland

You were right, of course, though they thought you crazy,
wrecking your eyes by candlelight,
thrashing your way through cold dumpsters,
making your own soap.

You were right, though I hear you gave it up in the end,
like we all do—halfway, at least,
and more likely, really, most of the way,
or even: No one here knows; don’t embarrass me.

I don’t know, since we don’t speak,
but sometimes, yes, I wonder how it feels
to be the coalmine canary who went back in his cage,
the boy who never did chain himself to a tree,
the seller, says the Internet, of one used Subaru wagon,
low miles, great condition.

And I think of your soap, which didn’t harden,
of your broken bike, of your dead garden,
of the bygone sweetness of your useless rage—
of you, of you, and your rare young body,
and our worthless patina of belongings and age.


Carol Church
Copyright © 2011  

Carol Church's work has appeared in Literary Mama, Mothering magazine, Snow Monkey, Poetry Motel, Tatlin's Tower, and Red River Review, where she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Florida and works as a scriptwriter for a public radio program.

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