after Franca Mancinelli
All water flows toward loneliness.
Loneliness is a black eye, a gleaming pit.
We have yet to split loneliness like an atom.
Loneliness arrives on a leash of scorpions.
In my skull, loneliness opens like a parachute.
It’s illegal to chain loneliness to a fence.
Flickers tunnel through loneliness to build nests.
I sprinkle a spoon of sugar over loneliness.
In some languages, loneliness is imperfect.
Antlers crown the bald head of loneliness.
Like rough trade, loneliness won’t kiss you.
Loneliness is crouched in a tree, afraid of dirt.
In the dark, loneliness ripens too quickly.
Beneath the roof of loneliness, my blood drifts.
Copyright © 2022 by Eduardo C. Corral. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 31, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.
When the grizzly cubs were caught, collared, and taken away—
relocated they call it—
their mother ran back and forth on the road screaming.
Brutal sound. Torn from her lungs. Her heart,
twisted knot, hot blood rivering
to the twenty-six pounding bones of her feet.
Just weeks before
I watched a bear and her cubs run down a mountain
in the twilight.
So buoyant, they seemed to be tumbling
to the meadow,
to the yarrow root they dug, rocking
to wrest it from the hard ground, fattening for winter.
They were breathing what looked like gladness.
But that other mother . . .
Her massive head raised, desperate to catch their scent.
Each footfall a fracture in the earth’s crust.
Copyright © 2022 by Ellen Bass. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 17, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.