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We Visit the Grizzlies

28 April, 2017


by Sarah Marcus
We Visit the Grizzlies
At the zoo, we’re against the glass.
Together, a twisted mirror of becoming
more ourselves and less the animals
inside us—
                        we hero our way through the pine.

If I could zipper your fur into my skin—
all the human, the smell, rubbed off
in the moment before the moment
when the pasture bursts with silvery lupine—
the rain or your knotted hair
violent in a mean mountain wind.
One day, when I can believe
            the things you tell me,
            when you no longer feel obligated,
            when we are permanent as rock,

we will be blood,
and we, we won’t
even have to cut our hands open;
press them together—
you growling, tighter,
I’ll always want you tighter.
“We Visit the Grizzlies” by Sarah Marcus, from Every Bird, To You. CC Press. 2013. Used by permission of the author.
Sarah Marcus is the author of They Were Bears (Sundress Publications, 2017), Nothing Good Ever Happens After Midnight (GTK Press, 2016) and the chapbooks BACKCOUNTRY (2013) and Every Bird, To You (2013). Her other work can be found at NPR’s Prosody, The Huffington Post, McSweeney’s, Cimarron Review, and, among others. She is also an editor at Gazing Grain Press, a spirited volunteer at VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and the series editor for As It Ought to Be’s High School Poetry Series: Gender, Identity, & Race. Marcus holds an MFA in poetry from George Mason University and teaches and writes in Cleveland.


Ask another poet to give you one line from an unfinished poem of theirs while you give the poet one of yours. Both of you write a poem and compare them when you are finished (or post a line in the comments section below, and look for a posted line in return).

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Previous Posts

01April, 2016: TEETOTUM

30April, 2015: L’Inglese

29April, 2015: Canvassing for the School Levy

28April, 2015: It is a poem's own dirty breath

27April, 2015: My Mother and I, Together

26April, 2015: Staying Behind

25April, 2015: Stone Mad

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READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.