Francesca Bell

How Like a God

Making tiny work

of what I could not budge,

the bear lifted my left-out cooler—so heavy


it would have taken two people

to stagger it to safety—

and slammed it down, snapping its hinges.


I lay in my flimsy shelter as he tore into

what he wanted, smacked his lips,

snuffled loudly for blueberries.


Such fondness for small pleasures

within that shouldered broadness.

What he liked, he licked carefully the last of


then left my ice chest strewn,

jagged valleys notched in its surface,

useless latch like a mouth, hung open.


Two days later, you were hospitalized.

My pain was tented, silent. Night after night,

it lay inside the pitch black of me, listening


while your illness rummaged

inside you, digging, clawing,

sniffing for the sweetest parts.




“How Like a God” first appeared in B O D Y.