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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
 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
Author:Soto, Gary
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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