Feeling Sorry for Myself Because the Grizzly Bears Don't Love Me

Michael Derrick Hudson

Marooned! With only this shred of wind-tangled orange
polypropylene, the frosty dented rim

of an aluminum pot, and a hank of acrylic fur
to knot around my aching throat. The icicles of my flag

scratch at the tent. My earphones crackle to the splendid
smear of the Northern Lights. But no blips.

No pings. Neither Bubba nor Susan nor Elvis will prowl
my peninsula’s permafrost tonight…

I’ve lived for their trifles, wasted a lifetime in a squint,

tweezing piles of their humid scat for fragments of acorn
and moth’s wing, for each soapberry seed

and salmon bone. For nothing I’ve distilled their slobber,
drawn blood from their tranquilized

haunches and whiffed their rancid tang after hibernation’s
first piss. Tenured with frostbite and failure,

I tried to reduce to a footnote the world’s red idiot mouth...