Dr. Freud, Please.
It was a short night Down a long hallway Where at the end a polar bear Was drinking from the toilet. The bear looked up, beads on his chops. He stood tall as a white Christmas tree And gave me, well, a bear hug. O Jesus, O Buddha, my wife says, Her newspaper slapped open to the business section-- Our mutual funds are down, will remain down. Why can't you have nice dreams? She asks, and turns the page. I dress first putting on my socks, Then my shirt--I need good habits. I eat a bowl of cereal, sugared by half a banana. I trace my palm--the life line Is far too deep for what I have to do. I look out the window: no bear, Just rain like a long silver sleeve Running in the streets. And, look, A neighbor, a plastic bag Over his hand, picks up a pooch's droppings. Is this it? We end our days following A Chihuahua on a short leash? Dr. Freud, where is the bear in real life? Where is the comb whittled from whale's teeth? The cheetah that runs daylight ragged, The cobra with its snap judgment? Where is the blood spilled in honor Of the women we love or sort of like? My armada? My annexed territory? A bar of unsinkable soap In a steamy bath is no answer. Dr. Freud, consider my cat, a declawed sissy boy Who spends his days licking his paws. True, he has fangs in his head. I have fangs in my own, But our meals are bloodless, Almost vegan. I drink from a cup, He drinks from a bowl--what's the difference? And note this, dear dead doctor: When we sleep, our legs twitch, And not from the hunt But from trying to run away.
GARY SOTO has written numerous books for children, young adults, and adults. His forthcoming book, Sudden Loss of Dignity, is due from Tupelo in spring 2013. The Gary Soto Literary Museum is located at Fresno City College.
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|Title Annotation:||three poems|
|Publication:||The American Poetry Review|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2012|
|Previous Article:||Juggling a Galaxy of Fruit.|