While you were away,
I listened to a podcast about bears.
Bears caught in flash floods,
bears walking upright,
bears flirting with evolution
in the wild north of Alaska.
And this one bear, in particular,
stealing peaches from a suburban
backyard in Georgia.
Each night, the bear would return
to the same yard and strip the trees bare.
In the morning, the homeowners
awoke to carnage—
It seems more than a little indecent.
How bears these days have no manners—
peach pits strewn across the lawn
like shell casings, and the fruit itself:
skin torn from the body,
revealing the sticky, pulpy insides
sluicing to the ground
like bright organs.
The perpetrator nowhere in sight,
save for a bit of black fur
caught on a stray branch, a fence post.
“A macabre sex act,”
the police must have said,
shaking their heads in disbelief.
“The Jackson Pollock of bears—
The Peach: A Study in Excess.”
And there’s something in there
about bears and love and loss
and I wish I could tell you
why it means so much to me.