by Taylor Gorman

Every day he woke up, went outside, and was mauled to death by a bear. He couldn’t figure it out—all he wanted was to work, make some money, and maybe move to a new part of the country without so many bears. Each day, he would lace his cordovans, open the sliding door, and be disembodied. The death was endless. He thought, maybe if he distracted it with salmon from his freezer and ran full speed toward his car—but no. The bear went right towards his stupid body and pressed his incisors to his temples. He thought, maybe if he went through the bedroom window, walked around the house. Without fail, he would find his arms or calves or lower-jaw leave his body, replaced with blood. It was exhausting, dying so often, so violently. Worse than death, he thought, was coming back the next day. Maybe if he waited, the bear would fall asleep. Everything hibernates eventually. He stared through the night, but the bear only licked the blood off its teeth. So, the man kept waiting by the window for weeks, watching his nails grow and curve. Eventually, winter came. He kept waiting through the snow, he and the bear staring through their sleeplessness. Snow covered and clotted the bear’s fur and eyes. This was his chance. He put on his fur coat and ran. He shoved his nails right into the bear’s neck. He went right through it. No redness, no nothing. It didn’t feel like death. He put his hand right into its bear-heart and pulled out a handful of ice. Nothing. No fur. He stood there for a moment and looked at the open door to his house. He watched the snow cover his fur. He ran his claws through his beard and waited.

Taylor Gorman has been published in The New Orleans Review, BOAAT, and The Adirondack Review. He is currently the poetry editor for Mojo and Mikrokosmos, and he is pursuing an MFA at Wichita State University in Kansas.