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by Madeleine Mori

Yesterday the sky just couldn’t grip without a tremor

and I couldn’t empty my pockets of song

kept tilling the lint not letting it pile

something about love like a building on fire

It’s always animals that teach me

and only when I’m waist-deep

skimming the bog of my need

for damselflies

a perilous body

a new lure

‘Aleurier’ meaning ‘to attract’

‘L’ours’ meaning ‘the bears’

Night dropped I watched

for the inspiration pornography can provide

on my screen two men approached a woman

as he approached my apartment

Made love made the dream

where two bears held me down

their hulking frames like dams

against the hours

and delicate as with a communion wafer

each took one of my hands onto their tongues

closed the clasp on their gauntlet mouths

I felt the flesh burst beneath bite

the slurred education of pain

crunch of bone like the blowing out

of a bridge’s molded arches

the many dresses of my fingers

teethed open but waving

I woke into gratitude

my cheeks still slick with lube

the bears’ harm having removed

my potential instruments

of harm

MADELEINE MORI is a Japanese-American poet originally from San Francisco. She earned a bachelor's degree in winemaking from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an MFA from New York University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in BOAAT, Cosmonauts Avenue, Neck, Sixth Finch, The Cincinnati Review, and jubilat, among others. She is the Poetry Editor at Pigeon Pages and lives in Brooklyn, where she works as the assistant to Sharon Olds.

Art by Isabella Lill


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