This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series Bear Medicine


I grew into the bearskin with great suddenness: a flourish of yeast flocculating in a tun. I fed on the dead parts of myself, the regrets & second guesses, the loneliness, the fears. My untrimmed nails hardened into sickles & my bad teeth gleamed like roots in the dark. But now all aggression had left me. I wanted only to raid the settlements of ants & bees & savor the pale malt grains of their larvae. The bees I let live went around lifting the skirts of blueberry blossoms so they too could die the little death & turn into something rounder, darker, sweeter. When the hunters came I was heavy with the fat of the land.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


    1. Thank you. Come to think of it, your own poems about shape-shifting must be an influence here. (Stay tuned — I think this poem will have several more parts.)


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