From Invasive Species. Published by Buckrider Books in 2014.
BEARS COULD BE ANYWHERE
On the subway at rush hour. Between couch cushions. In the drawer with dull pencils and batteries and nothing you need. In the eavestrough. On a soccer field during a lightning storm. In the pocket of your dirty jeans, your unlaced sneakers. Run a hand under the sheets before bedtime. Bears prefer to sleep on Egyptian cotton. They can usually tell if it’s cheap.
BEARS STARTLE EASILY
In conditions of hampered visibility, braid willow in your hair. Floss with alder. Line your eyelids with nightshade. Sing jazz standards in the key of C or D-flat major. If you must tell a bear about your hysterectomy, your son’s defection from the military academy, speak quietly but with conviction. Never let them smell your Ativan.
KEEP YOUR CAMPSITE CLEAN
Bundles of unattended clothing invite curious bears. The wilderness is not a thrift store parking lot. A grizzly in floral skirts and pearls is not just “going through a phase.” Individuals are often spotted near high school proms and costume departments. Their fur may start to thin. They may become dependent on polyester. Eventually, such bears must be destroyed.