Black bear
How could it be
this powerful, this animal, or
how did I not know of it
till now? There are many monsters,
many types
of people—I've never understood

vampires with their stable schedules
of predation, zombies moaning for brains
right out in public, recognizable,
ghosts no longer blooded, living
in the past, unable to pleasure themselves
in food and drink,
but werewolves—

Mister Hydes, Bigfoots, wolves, bears waking
so hungry after so long
only half-awake, werewolves
transforming back and waking—
I understand
the unease of not knowing
exactly what belongs
as the self—

last night
in my kitchen

it destroyed eleven vegetarian tacos
after devouring the whole wheat pancakes
oozing with peanut butter
and before that, six potatoes,
great rent slabs of butter, sriracha—
nothing to reign in
impossible hunger
but the animal impossibility
of containing more—

I name this craving
impossible, monstrous, cursèd,
animal. But the frightening truth is
I stayed home alone
all night.
It was me, myself,
my self. I hadn't fed it
all day.

I heard a story on NPR—bear with me—
a whole town made friends with its bears,
a strange woodsman dedicating his life
to proving bears can be safe
with daily care, imagine—
bears denning beneath quaint cottages,
bears waking in ripe berry patches
covered in red stains. Imagine
bear kisses, gentle offerings
one pecan at a time
from human lips to gentle craving maw.