the world has been an odd friend.
when it changed my perspective of myself, i made it my feared ally.
i would cozy up to it
like one might to a bear
when trapped together.
if it was only you and her
in a cage or in acres of forest
with no escape,
you would try first to hide
then move slowly so she wouldn’t notice.
lonely with her.
one night your breathing matched
and you knew she knew you were there.
so you get close
in case she ends up protecting you
or making you her cub.
what if she gives you berries and honey
instead of shredding your skin?
what if she pulls you in with her heavy fur self
instead of coming down on your neck?
what if she leads you through the forest
instead of batting you around as you die from worn out fear?
what if she believes you can climb trees
and catch fish with your hand?
what if she sees herself in you,
fur and flesh becoming the same?
cozy up to this bear world,
capable of ruining you and saving you.
imagine the what ifs,
the honey on your chin,
the smiling eyes of the beast,
the lumbering through a slanted sun woods,
the enveloping warmth that swells with her breath,
her weight increasing with every inhale.
the quiet exchanges.
then with time test her.
make her a fire and mash the berries into a sauce.
pick her wildflowers and tuck one behind her ear.
rub her back and pull the burrs she can’t reach.
arrange stones in a path to her cave.
make her a crown of ivy and periwinkle and climb on a stump to reach her.
give her gifts she could never give herself.
close your eyes,
smell the smoke,
feel her breath passing through primal fangs,
feel your fingers tender from the burrs,
swallow again the last sweetness,
close your eyes and lean in
to your odd friend, capable.