a bear of a different name

Written by Emma Flynn
Art by Daniel Salcius

the 7:40 power outage: the buzzing stops- momentarily i am left clinging to the silence of a still life. would that it be still, would that it be quiet, would that i could carve an image of courage upon my own hands to face the bear of a different name.

the bear of a different name lives in my kitchen. his eyes roll and his hackles raise for he is made of worm-bitten fleece and sleepless dreams and he is something larger than loneliness and heavier than grief and he has made a home upon my tiled floors.

you have killed often, o’ bear with blood-soaked paws. you have devoured hearts of stronger men and now you have come for mine.

the bear of a different name loops circles through my house. he grins a grin of hallowed joy and pretty lies and shadowed thoughts.

i strike down kings just to watch them die. i come for maidens to watch them cry.

the bear of a different name roots through my cupboards- he tears down my walls and feasts on tv 

dinners of fiberglass and amygdalas, he sips on a wine of youth and memories that have grown too bitter for my tastes.

o’ god of lost time, why do you darken my door?

the bear of a different name stands heavy on my chest and grows larger yet. i cannot breathe, i cannot speak in the darkness of an empty room.

big and small and big and small; shall i grow some more?

the bear of a different name leans over my passenger seat on route 34 and tells me to swerve into oncoming traffic. his breath is hot and his chops drip with spit and i clench my steering wheel with white knuckles and pray he goes away.

o’ king of sorrow, o’ king of nails, go back to your home of death and flies

the bear of a different name sits heavy beside my bed and watches with all-knowing eyes. he curls up at my tired feet and breathes in tandem with me. he weighs down my bed and slips through my sheets and the world must shrink to fit him.

when you have loved what death has touched there is nowhere you can hide.