"Somewhere a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring down the mountain.
All night in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring I think of her,
her four black fists flicking the gravel,
her tongue like a red fire
touching the grass, the cold water.
There is only one question:
how to love this world.
I think of her
rising like a black and leafy ledge
to sharpen her claws against the silence of the trees.
Whatever else my life is
with its poems and its music
and its glass cities,
it is also this dazzling darkness
coming down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;
all day I think of her—
her white teeth,
her perfect love.”