after Donika Kelly’s "Archeology"
You are a bear rubbing your back against a tree when I come. Come to me, you say, your voice a glacial waterfall and then because you are newly awake you pick a glob from your eye with your long bear claw. If you come close you say I will kiss your face all over with the concave wet of my nose I will keep you warm in my cave. I hurry but already you have shaved every whisker taken every fur from your face Why are you so raw? I ask. you say that I am as lonely as a bear who cannot hibernate. I learn the bareness of your back know the mountains that are made of skin. What am I missing? I am an anthropologist studying the movements of a naked bear. Which is to say that I am as curious as someone who has never been alive. what I am missing? I am studying the split of mountains, nearing skin, your back brought taut up the horizon or taut across someone’s hungry teeth You are close enough now you could spit on me spit at my feet spit on me honeycomb blueberries, blood no missing cubs a long winter nap, salmon-scale-perfume plunder.
Emelia Kamadulski is a writer of poetry and fiction based in Denver, Colorado. She is currently pursuing a degree in the arts at the University of Denver.